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Nicola Furlong Case: Does Blackston’s Time Fit the Crime?

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The American professional dancer, James Blackston, was sentenced to three-years less 15-months for time served for the sexual assault (Quasi-Forcible Indecency) of Ms. Nicola Furlong’s friend.

The Independent.ie reported:

AN AMERICAN man was sentenced to three years with labour today in Tokyo District Court for assaulting two women in Japan – including a friend of Nicola Furlong. James Blackston assaulted Ms Furlong’s friend on the night the Wexford woman was killed.

Blackston (23) was charged with sexually assaulting a Brazilian woman last April and assaulting Ms Furlong’s friend last May in a Tokyo taxi that also contained carried his friend RIchard Hinds and Ms Furlong.

In the Blackston verdict, Judge Masayuki Yamada said that he assaulted Ms Furlong’s friend to fulfill his “desire.”

Both women, referred to in court as ‘victim A’ and ‘victim B’ said they blacked out after drinking tequila that Mr Blackston gave them.

In the book, The Japanese Way of Justice : Prosecuting Crime in Japan: Prosecuting Crime … by Manoa David T. Johnson Assistant Professor of Sociology University of Hawaii, the following is provided:

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Those unfamiliar with the Japanese judicial system may find the following information useful in understanding how the trial was conducted and the verdict reached:

I. THE SAIBAN-IN SYSTEM:

japanese saiban system

“The saiban-in (lay judge) system started on May 21, 2009. This system is such that those members of the general public who have been selected participate in trials for the most serious of criminal cases. They determine the sentences, including whether the defendant is guilty or not, together with professional judges. With this system it is hoped that more people feel involved in the justice process. The Ministry of Justice has been involved in publicizing and promoting the saiban-in system so that more people will be able to understand its role and functions.” SOURCE

How are verdicts reached?

“Deliberations are conducted at Saiban-in trials by a collegiate body consisting of three judges and six Saiban-ins (or one judge and four Saiban-ins in certain cases), and involve identifying the facts pertaining to a judgment of guilty or not guilty, etc., a decision on which laws and ordinances are applicable, and thus the appropriate sentence. Verdicts are rendered based on the opinions of the majority of the collegiate body, including from both the judges and the Saiban-ins (the opinions of both the judges and the Saiban-ins need to be included, and hence a verdict of guilty cannot be rendered even if all the Saiban-ins agree on a guilty verdict if all the judges have opposing opinions). Saiban-ins can question defendants or witnesses, etc. regarding anything necessary in making a judgment if they inform the presiding judge that they wish to do so. Interpretation of laws and ordinances and judgments on criminal proceedings, etc. can only be made by the judges but the results are provided to the Saiban-ins. Saiban-ins are obliged to follow those decisions. In some cases, however, the opinions of the Saiban-ins can prove useful, and hence the judges may allow Saiban-ins to attend such deliberations and air their opinions.” SOURCE

What type of sentences are given?

“A survey by the Supreme Court on sentences given under the lay judge system has found that rulings for sexual crimes, such as rape and sexual assault, resulting in injury, tended to be harsher.

“Before the lay judge system was introduced, the most common sentences for sexual assault causing injuries called for imprisonment of between three years and five years. Under the lay judge system, however, imprisonment of between five years and seven years was handed down most often for such crimes. This appears to reflect lay judges’ firm stance against heinous sexual crimes.

“On the contrary, the survey showed more suspended sentences were given in murder, arson and robbery resulting in injury cases under the lay judge system. Such rulings were handed down as lay judges expected defendants to rehabilitate themselves and they took the circumstances, such as fatigue from caring for family members, into consideration.” SOURCE

The Independent.ie also reported:

“In January, Mr Blackston described the evidence of Ms Furlong’s friend as untruthful. “I don’t know why she lies, I don’t hate you for it but.. .. why don’t you just say what happened?”

But the judge today described Mr Blackston’s testimony as “irrational.”

He said that Mr Blackston had claimed in court that he had no sexual interest in victim A, but the CCTV camera in the taxi taking them to the Keio Plaza hotel recorded him making explicit references to the two Irish women.

The CCTV camera also records Mr Blackston assaulting Ms Furlong’s friend. During his trial the prosecution said that he had initially denied to police that any contact between him and Victim A took place, but changed his story when the police showed him the footage. He then admitted contact had occurred but said it was consensual.

But the judge today ruled that neither victim A or B provided consent, and were not in a position to provide consent as they were not conscious.”

It appears that Mr. Blackston used the same tactic, giving the women tequila and then sexually assaulting them. In the case of Victim A (Ms. Furlong’s friend), she consumed a copious amount of alcohol (as done by many in Japan during a night of partying) and date rape drugs were not detected in her or Ms. Furlong’s system.

If the judge ruled Mr. Blackston’s testimony irrational, it is possible that Victim A’s testimony DID NOT carry as much weight as the evidence presented in the trial of the American minor. Victim A gave her rationale for the two women passing out. Even after it was determined that Ms. Furlong had a Blood Alcohol Content that was four-times over the limit of being legally drunk in Ireland and it was explained to her that tests showed no sign of her being drugged, she still believed that she was the victim of a date rape drug. Black Tokyo, using the video evidence of Mr. Blackston groping Victim A and his admission of such, while discarding the testimony of the women to determine innocense or guilt on the basic-level, determined that Mr. Blackston would have been found guilty of Quasi-Forcible Indecency.

UNDERSTANDING PUNISHMENTS FOR GROPING / QUASI-FORCIBLE INDECENCY IN JAPAN:

It should be noted that “the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure were both revised in April 27, 2010 (Act No. 26 of 2010) to exclude offenses resulting in death of the victim, which are subject to the death penalty, from the statute of limitation. The period of the statute of limitation for other offenses subject to imprisonment with or without work was extended, and the sentencing prescription accordingly revised.” SOURCE

PUNISHMENTS:

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In looking at Japan’s 2010 White Paper statistics on “Imprisonment with or without work for a definite term” for those found guilty of a similar crime (Rape/Forcible Indecency), Black Tokyo found that 655 of 1,409 persons were sentenced to imprisonment with or without work for a period of two years or more but three years or less. Of that 655, 439 were granted suspension of execution of the sentence as shown in the chart above. SOURCE

In the book, “The Japanese Disease: Sex and Sleaze in Modern Japan By Declan Hayes,” it he writes:

“Suspected train molesters who admit to charges are usually released after filling out paperwork, and are later ordered to pay a fine for violating a local ordinance. But those who deny charges are held, indicted and subject to court proceedings. For now, considering the long period of possible confinement compared with the 50,000 yen fine, it is difficult to advise alleged false molesters to insist on their innocence.”

SOURCE

4-years imprisonment ordered for a former-Hakuhodo employee that used date rape drugs on victim at a Tokyo hotel.
2-years imprisonment and 4-years probation ordered for the former-Hakuhodo employee’s accomplices. SOURCE

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DOES THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME?

Black Tokyo presented a timeline and additional details to provide a fuller account of the evening the Irish Ms. Furlong and her friend met the two American men. We also took a look at the reported evidence of the case evidence used to determine if similar crimes received similar sentences. In looking at one example, and what would constitute an more heinous crime, the following is observed:

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To reiterate, Black Tokyo (BT) has stated from the beginning of its coverage of the Nicola Furlong case that any crime committed by Mr. Blackston and the American minor awaiting sentencing in the death of Ms. Nicola Furlong should be punished. Although the saiban-in (lay judges) determined that Mr. Blackston serve three-years less 15-months for time already served, a sentence much lenient than those in cyberspace hoped for, it is opposite of what (BT) expected based on previous cases of QUASI-FORCIBLE INDECENCY.

THE POSSIBLE VERDICT FOR MR. BLACKSTON

So like the USFJ Sailor, Blackston admitted has admitted that he committed quasi-forcible indecency against Ms. Furlong’s friend in the taxi. He also admitted that he did not have sex with Ms. Furlong’s friend while the two were at the hotel.

Based on previous cases, it possible that Blackston will receive a fine and time served or a fine and no more than a 1-year prison sentence.

Was BT off in its analysis? Here is what the judge had to say regarding the sentencing:

The prosecution had requested a 4-year sentence. The judge said that Mr Blackston’s young age, his lack of a criminal record and the fact that he had employment as a professional dancer stood in his favor.

But while neither victim had remembered the assault, the judge said that he had inflicted psychological distress on them.

The American showed no emotion when he was sentenced. He has the right to appeal, though it is not clear if he will exercise this right. His lawyer, Tsutomu Nakamura, declined to comment as he left court.

So, the question remains, does the punishment fit the crime? BT expects that Blackston will appeal!

Rest in Peace, Ms. Furlong. May your family and all families involved in this senseless tragedy find some sense of closure.

The following BT’ers contributed to BT’s reporting of the Nicola Furlong death investigation: @blacktokyo, @onmugen @starrwulfe @ogPegasus303

Have inquiries, an opinion or rant? Feel free to join the discussion via Disqus below.

Click here for additional Black Tokyo posts on the investigation into the death of Nicola Furlong.

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14 comments on “Nicola Furlong Case: Does Blackston’s Time Fit the Crime?”

  1. Ryan Bowers

    I’ve been known that Blackston’s sentence was to be less severe compared to
    Hinds. Simply, because nobody died in his hands. Well to continue, Did Nicola’s
    friend have to attend a clinic after separating from Blackston’s presence?
    Because, rape results in pregnancy and other chaos. Did she have to get an abortion,
    was his fluid found etc.? Every article talks about the groping incident only.
    She claims all this stuff but all the evidence leads to sex not even being
    involved so far. This article still doesn’t piece the puzzle even half way
    because…how can he be in jail and at a hotel simultaneously? No date rape drug
    was found in her system or Nicola’s. Also the alcohol must not been too much of
    a problem if she had him arrested for touching her. I know my question above
    seems redundant but read on please. Rape like any crime is despicable and punishable
    but only if it did occur. Zurui, you seem to be apologizing to please folks who
    only try to condescend your words. Equate the evidence and give up on all egos
    and complexes. I personally, am still in neutrality about Blackston. But what happened
    between Hinds and Nicola is as clear as glass to me and my intuition. I don’t
    understand why people fail to notice. Just like a criminal doesn’t feel bad until
    they get caught, when a criminal is forced into a compromising position they’re
    more likely to tell the truth. The complex of cute blond, black monster has got
    everyone lost. Nicola wasn’t meant to die but the results totally differing
    from earlier should at least teach you something new. Also people feel their
    rep would be hurt if they considered Hinds point of view even 1%. Like before I
    didn’t always feel the way I did. I was actually devastated when I found out
    the news, still am. I even dreamt wishfully about being at the concert and
    stopping these guys in their tracks and serving justice day after day. Hinds DID
    kill Nicola but evidence shows no rape happened and/or murder was intended. The
    length of time it took Nicola to die proves it. A kinky stunt turned disaster
    known as accidental asphyxiation was the cause of death. This is not from my
    imagination but from calculating both stories. With Nicola being the dead and
    the victim it gives her the upper hand upfront. Meaning no assumption that she
    was the type of girl to ask him for sex will be made. And Hinds putting his
    hands around her neck and adding pressure. Eliminates his counter argument from
    being taken seriously from the get go. Btw, Blacktokyo hasn’t fought against me
    but I just feel at home here enough to leave my commentary on this case.

    • Zurui

      Yes, definitely a lesser punishment but seemingly extreme compared to other cases in Japan, including rape.

      Blackston was not in jail and at the hotel simultaneously. He was arrested at the hotel and later jailed. He was held for questioning (arrested) and then rearrested and later charged with quasi-forcible indecency.

      Rape has many definitions. Blackston was found guilty of a sexual assault against an unconscious woman. Although alcohol may have played a factor in her physical and mental state during that night, Blackston was not warranted in touching, fondling, sexually assaulting or also by certainvdefinition, “raping” her.

      Black Tokyo is not apologizing to anyone in the post. We are only presenting our analysis and documented cases of crimes and the punishments given.

      Black Tokyo ALWAYS welcome other’s views, whether or not they differ from the view or facts presented in our stories. Thank you for following our reporting and for expressing your opinion.

  2. Honest questions

    I found this video which claims to be “James “King Tight” Blackstone on the Japanese train”.

    Can you confirm whether it is? I hear the name “KC”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaMxy6FF4Lk

    I find two elements of your polemic disingenuous.

    Firstly, you repeatedly refer to Richard Hinds as a “minor”. Richard Hinds is an American. In America, the age of majority is, as you know, 18.

    Richard Hinds is an adult and he is very fortunately to have carried out his attempted rape and murder in Japan where, for cultural and historical reasons, youth offences are treated more leniently and the age of majority is 20.

    Secondly, you seek to estimate a falsehood and a slur about the victims.

    In Ireland there is no legal definition of being drunk. Presumably, you are refer to the Road Traffic Act which set the blood alcohol level for driving a motorcar at about half the level set by the UK. It equals less than a pint of beer. 3 and a half pints of beer (approx) is not an excessive amount, nor enough to cause coincidental blackouts in two women.

    Is to sully Nicola Furlong over her drinking not on a par with saying she deserved to be raped because she was wearing a short skirt? Surely a “good samaritan” would not have groped the women as they were unconscious?

    Perhaps you could also correct or qualify one statistic for me, it is said

    in 2005, 37,460 white females were sexually assaulted or raped by a black man in the USA, while between 0 and ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man.

    It this a true statistic?

    Blackston’s attempted to lie his way out until he was shown the video by the police. Perhaps we will never know how honest or dishonest our “Christian” friend Hinds has been in his testimony. But if there is any truth to the statistic above, then I think they are both lucky they went to Japan to commit their crimes where such evidence is not known.

    Lastly, here we have two cases coming to light. I am forced to ask if they were just the tip of the iceberg and there are other unreported outstanding cases, say to Japanese women, as it would fit the MO of a typical offender.

    For Japanese readers

    * disingenuous: not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating.

    • Zurui

      It is our understanding the video is of Blackston.

      The American on trial in the death of Ms. Furlong is considered a minor in Japan and is being tried as an adult. Some of the people reporting this story reside in Japan and thus follow the same protocol in referring to him. Japanese newspapers do not mention his name.

      There is no falsehood or slur about the victims. The facts are presented as reported by Japanese, Irish and US news. For example, Ms. Furlong’s BAC is four times the limit as DUI in Ireland. No one missed their train, the women were not drugged according to autopsy reports, etc. As the Japan Times reported, major newspapers put out many inaccurate or slanted stories regarding the victims and the two Americans accused.

      According to this report: “In 2010, the Irish government has joined much of the European Union in making its DUI laws even more stringent. They lowered the blood alcohol levels to .05 percent for people with full driving licenses, and .02 percent for novice drivers. That means for a 180-pound male, drinking two pints of beer in an hour will earn you a DUI in Ireland. Novice drivers go over the limit with just one drink.”

      Black Tokyo has NEVER stated nor implied that the women being under the influence warranted their treatment, NEVER! We have ALWAYS stated that the men should be punished for charged offenses if found guilty. The question in this article is simple: Does the time fit the crime based on similar past and current offenses committed by men in Japan? Did you conveniently ignore the data given on similar crimes and the punishments received?

      I am not sure what the source of your statistic is and do not connect what it has to do with two Irish women in Japan out with two black American men? Wouldn’t a better attempt at using statistics at least use the rate of sexual assaults committed by Japanese and foreign men in Japan against women in general? To see if your statistic is true, utilize the US Census, FBI and official reports versus websites that do not link to the sources.

      You may be new to Japan’s legal system but the punishment Blackston received is harsher than a cases in the US where a man was sentenced to the 172 days he has served in jail plus $4,197 in restitution to the airline when he groped a pregnant woman on a flight from New York to Los Angeles. In another case, a man was sentenced in Federal Court in Detroit to three years’ probation after he was convicted of abusive sexual contact for groping yet another woman aboard a flight from San Jose, California, to Detroit.

      If you consider the reporting here at Black Tokyo disingenuous, maybe you haven’t been following this case! Thanks for your comment.

      • Ryan Bowers

        Zurui, to instigate myself on your behalf, like stated before people try to condescend what you mean. I even brought up earlier that the way a woman dresses justifies lust only, not rape. This guy is just a troll. The alcohol played a part but not any type of slipped drug…

        • Honest questions

          Given that we are talking about a “Christian” here, I am sorry to say that the way a woman dresses don’t not even justify lust … “he who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery or raped her”. The point I am making is that I think it is a terrible thing that Christian religion has been brought into this case as a defence.

          Zurui, you misrepresented me. Please don’t do so again. I merely said I found “two elements of your polemic disingenuous”. And, Ryan, don’t start by insulting me by calling a troll.

          4 times over the DUI limit is not the same as 4 times over a legal definition of drunkenness as you present in your articles. I argue that such a suggestion moves your piece outsides of the limit of reportage into defensive polemic, and that using terms such as “minor” or Christian are further attempts at that.

          So what is this all about? Getting a brother a more lenient sentence? Personally, I am very uncomfortable as this being posed as a black issue or prejudice against blacks.

          To be honest, I am entirely in favor of Japan having stricter standards if it ensures a safer society, especially for women. That it is a safer society, where for the most part a no is a no, benefits the rest of us who are not Christians and do appreciate the female form hugely. I am not talking about sex or lust here, just the delicacy of femininity that is able to survive in Japan which has been lost or would be torn to pieces in other societies.

          If they were to put into law that the tariff for all foreigners was double that of native Japanese I would not complain at all. I have no intent to break the law.

          Could there be a connection between young two black men and two trophy blondes and black male on white female crime in the USA? I think we have to accept it.

          If the video is further evidence to go by, and I found other of him acting in the same way in an airport, this individual is … I find it hard to put it into words.

          He sexually assaulted an unconscious woman and then pleaded remorse on the ground he has a fiancé waiting for him back in the USA? Guys, please, what are we dealing with here?

          In my opinion, two things happen with foreigners in Japan (and this a very limit discussion).

          Firstly, as much of a Japanophile that any individual might be and these two men do not strike me of being so at all, they import along with them their own personal and cultural values.

          Secondly, many mistake the tolerance of Japanese society, and the additional leniency shown to foreigners, as weakness and indulge in it.

          Adding these two together along with the foreignness of Japan, they exist in a slightly unreal bubble until it either gradually wears off, taking months to do so, or something rudely bursts it as in this case.

          I would need to think about this further before express my thoughts about it more, but some appear to become intoxicated by it.

          I found the behavior in the video absolutely shocking. I am used to Gotham City but I have acclimatized and moderated my behavior as much as I can to Japan. I cannot start to imagine how the Japanese on that train felt … especially the women … but I have some idea, e.g. whatever I might feel multiply it by 100.

          We have to accept it as indicative of both his psyche and his specific culture and, no, I do not see that as “black” or even “African-American”.

          I have not read the judgement but I suspect a number of issues went against him.

          that the victim was unconscious
          that he was working as a pair
          that he showed a lack of remorse and accused the victims
          that the conversation in the taxi showed intent
          that he lied to the police until shown the video
          that it was his second incident

          I have not read the details of the Brazillian-Japanese woman anywhere, except that he had taken graphic photos of her private parts and kept them on his computer, I think he is lucky not to come to court separately as a second offence and the judgement must reflect that.

          • Zurui

            The papers referring to the accused as a Christian is often done. It is not just as terrible to not present all sides of the “truth” when discussing this case. Does it matter if the American is a Christian? Probably not, I am sure that most of those on the jury are not Christians.

            Please clarify:

            “Zurui, you misrepresented me. Please don’t do so again. I merely said I found “two elements of your polemic disingenuous”.”

            According to drinkdriving.org: “The BAC (blood alcohol content) limit defines the maximum legal amount of alcohol that is permitted to be in the blood for people to legally drive in each country and jurisdiction.

            BAC limits can also be referred to as ‘drink driving limits’ or ‘drunk driving limits’. It is a criminal offence to drive with a blood alcohol content that is above the legal limit and the punishments and penalties for doing so can be severe!

            The legal BAC limit listed for each country is based on the maximum legal prescribed limit allowed for the average driver. Lower limits may be set in certain countries for inexperienced drivers, young drivers or professional drivers.”

            Ireland lowered the legal limit from 80 mg per 100 ml of blood (.08 percent in U.S. terms) to 50 mg. Ms. Furlong had a BAC of 0.214. As much as you have issues with the accused “minor” being called a “Christian (by major media sources),” I have issue with the BAC being dismissed especially when it was claimed that the women were plied with alcohol and drugged. Newspapers still claim that date rape drugs were used. Truly tabloid journalism. Is this in defense of the men on trial? Not by any means, it is in defense of providing all available information. This case is not only about the crime but on media reporting. Especially media reporting by Western journalists that clearly miss the mark when it comes to thing Japan.

            “So what is this all about? Getting a brother a more lenient sentence? Personally, I am very uncomfortable as this being posed as a black issue or prejudice against blacks.”

            Not sure where you found that on Black Tokyo but your “brother” issue is your own. The prejudice against Blacks or Americans in the media is nothing new. It’s typical, expected, and not a shock since the two Black American men were already tried and convicted from the beginning.

            The facts of this case are clearly presented. You asked: “Could there be a connection between young two black men and two trophy blondes and black male on white female crime in the USA? I think we have to accept it.”

            “We” do not have to accept it. Black Tokyo does not. Accepting is exactly what some in the media wants because it makes for great copy. The Furlong case has been basically ignored by the Japanese media and sensationalized by the Irish press. A death has occurred, crime(s) committed and justice should be served. That’s a no-brainer! Being selective in reporting and using selective reasoning in looking at the evidence and overall picture of what happened that night sully’s the image created by those reporting the story.

            Your statement here speaks volumes: “We have to accept it as indicative of both his psyche and his specific culture and, no, I do not see that as “black” or even “African-American”.”

            What psyche? That of a young male, American, professional dancer on tour? When asked if Ms. Furlong’s and friend’s “background” (a.k.a. psyche or specific culture) could have played a hand in events that lead to one woman’s death and another being sexually assaulted, Black Tokyo dismissed the question. Why? Mainly because it stereotypes the victims and takes away from sticking to the evidence.

            For example, some have noted that the women are Irish and therefore have a culture of drinking. Or the women are into Nicki Minaj or Hip Hop and therefore must like Black men (Ms. Furlong is shown in pictures with Black musicians). The video shows Mr. Blackston groping / fondling / sexually assaulting Ms. Furlong’s friend. The evidence points to Ms. Furlong taking Xanax and consuming many drinks prior to the concert. What specific culture or psyche does that fall under? Overly agressive male or predator? Party girl?

            So, does this matter? It does to some if one wonders if a “brother” may get a more lenient sentence. It also matters if one (many) has issues with the rest of the story. Especially a story that doesn’t fit with one created by certain press:

            “They watched a concert by Nicki Minaj, an unusually chaste, God-fearing rapper with a message that may have appealed to two rural Irish girls: There are more important things in life than sex appeal.” Really?!

            “The women missed their train.” Nope. “The women were drugged.” Nope. “Why was the beautiful / princess / other with these type of men?” Quick answer: Maybe they wanted to party. “The rapper (not dancer) Blackston (pictured shirtless with weights) from the notorious South Central Los Angeles.” Hmm! Maybe that could start the fear-mongering and paint a picture of all Black Americans or to be more specific entertainers whose M.O. is to drug and then rape women in Japan. Again, the Japanese press has basically ignored this case while some Western media have created an entirely new narrative of being foreign in Japan.

            If you examined my examples of similar groping and raps cases in Japan, you will see that the punishment may not have fit the crime. Is this in defense of Blackston? No, it is in defense of fair trials and sentencing, especially when it comes to foreigners in Japan. I presented past cases and the current outcome (3-years) and ask, “Does the time, fit the crime?”

          • Honest questions

            I would like to see the statistics for second offenders, and I’d like to see equivalent statistics for other foreigner.

            As I’ve stated quite honestly, and could explain why, I have no problem, legally or otherwise, with a different tariff applying to foreigners committing crimes in Japan than citizens. All and any foreigners.

            Indeed, I actually think it is a good thing and it is necessary, and has been necessary, for Japan to do so.

            I cannot comment to previous press reporting as I only heard about this case recently. Tabloid newspapers are in the business of selling newspapers not giving expert legal opinion or setting governmental policy and I don’t have much respect for them. I don’t even read them.

            I would actually agree with you about the Irish drinking culture which is why I don’t place a lot of weight on the idea the women having drunk between 3 and 4 pints. That sounds quite normal.

            As to the “culture” of these men, again we have a little political dance going on. They can be posed as Christian, American, Black, Minors or otherwise according to which ever bias you seek, the perspective I would like to add is that of questioning the sexism, misogyny and violence with the street culture of young black American men (rap, gansta … call it what you like) and the increasing influence of violent and aggressive pornography on the youth in general.

            I am astonished by a culture in which a teenager would interpret a woman moving a his hands off her chest as “a desire to be strangled”, or even consider wheeling unconscious and incapacitated women into separate rooms to fondling, photographing and attempt to rape them.

            We don’t need “fear mongering” we just need to look at equivalent statistics in the USA. As I wrote, moving the individuals geographically does remove the statistical tendencies or culture. It moves them with them, and if you watch that video, the behavior is indistinguishable in almost every way from aggressive, territorial simian behavior.

            (I know you’ll love me for saying that but I think you’ll find it hard to argue against).

            Looking at the 19 year prison sentence handed out to the 22 year old Osaka man given for killing a Nepalese recently, I think Hinds is going to get off very lightly and we will be able to discuss that tomorrow … so the cookie crumbles both way.

            Courts do make politically charged decisions in reaction to what it considers social threats or “moral panics” you might call them, but in this case I do not think they have nor that it is a significantly important case to do so; whereas with US soldier they might.

            As you’ve said, it really just not that interesting to Japanese society. It’s just some more foreigners behaving disrespectfully, disturbing the peace, costing Japanese society money, and causing harm and inconvenience. (For example, the hotel is probably now not going to be able to rent that room out for a long time, or perhaps for ever, and so will lose revenue. This is a typical problem in Japan when someone dies in building. Who pays for that?).

            I don’t think it is ever going to be possible to punish every criminal equally in any nation because of all the various factors involved and I do not think such a system would be a good one because the courts or legal system needs to be a tool of making adjustments within society and they make decisions on the basis of how an individual benefits society in face of what it costs society.

            And, in this case, the benefit is basically nil and so he would have nothing in his favor.

          • Zurui

            I will try to be as brief as possible and do my best to avoid assumptions and generalities:

            my thesis deals with crime in japan, specifically crimes committed by the u.s. military and non-japanese as compared to the japanese. i’m versed in the subject matter. check BT for future posts.

            i did not refer to tabloids but instead the “tabloid like” and blatantly false reporting from certain segments of the media.

            there is no “political” or politically-correct dance. the accused is a minor, that happens to be black or african-american and a christian. the press has reported as such.

            the rest of the comment equates to trolling and non-informed assumption. thus i will end my reply to you here!

          • Ryan Bowers

            Generally, are you talking to Zurui or me?…The reason I called you a
            troll is because you showed up with direct intent to argue. Also, with a
            username like honestquestions and spewing statistics go’s hand and hand
            itself to says a lot. But in your 2nd comment its somehow is not about
            race? With this being a scandal where a European woman was victim I know
            it’s attracting white activist. Which happens to be something expected
            and your prerogative. The issue was your intent seemed like it was to
            claim Zurui was justifying what happened to Nicola when he wasn’t. By
            the way, when stating that the way a woman dresses justifies lust but
            not rape I was simply only expressing my views. Just know enough that I
            never claimed to condone the rape regardless. Knit picking is not needed
            at all. My knowledge on Blackston is unclear so far, that’s why my
            commentary is mostly related to Hinds. Remember earlier media said the
            christian(Richard Hinds)raped Nicola? No sexual residue or DNA was found
            in any cavity or external. I’m just keeping an open mind until all the
            facts come out before I think absolute. As for the dancer, I first saw
            the video of Blackston and the terrible flash mobbing on the subway while
            using wi-fi in my local Mcdonalds last year. I felt so appalled I had
            to return home minutes after seeing the footage. Beforehand I heard only
            rumors on twitter related to a guy showing off on the subway and
            committing a crime. It was mentioned that his victim was white so I
            didn’t think japan at first. Haven’t seen the taxi footage yet though.
            Right about now I might be in a confused state about the case, but I am
            still convinced by the truth and won’t deny it. Please read all my
            previous comments on this case if you plan to reply again.

  3. Colm Nolan

    I’ve been following this case via the Irish media over the last year and to be honest to be honest I’ve been left with more questions than answers. Hence when the trial started I spent a few minutes surfing for another angle and ended up here.

    I think I’ve read most over your articles and watched the youtube discussion, which are all very informative. But what strikes me most is the huge disparity between Blacktokyos work and what passes for journalism in Ireland. I’ve just checked the Irish Independents site and yet again its full of inaccuracies, they are still quoting the date-rape drug line!

    When you look at the entire even leading up to Ms Furlong’s tragic death, nothing looks really out of place until the moment of her death. What I mean is nothing is unreasonable for any 18-30 year old’s night out on the town partying. Especially when everyone involved was away from home. Some of it maybe more than risque and probably not what grieving family or friends what to hear, but thats what happened. Thank you Blacktokyo for shedding a lot of light!

    In terms of Blackstones sentence, at first glance it does seem harsh, when compared to the other cases quoted. However it is a second offence in similar circumstances. I’m a bit confused by the Judges statement on the psychological damage? If the Girl was unconscious and “can’t remember” ? More importantly I’m wondering if there is already a feeling that the sentence would be reduced at appeal, possibly to time served at the appeal case in say 6-9months time?

    • Electra

      Today the Irish Independent described the accused as a professional dancer and repeated the untrue accusation of date rape drugging.

    • Zurui

      Thank you for your reply and insight. I have also considered a second offense in similar circumstances but it seems that either the sentences for other rape and groping cases were extremely lenient or a different set of rules were applied when giving Blackston three-years. That three-year sentence speaks volumes in what to expect in Tuesday’s verdict in the death Ms. Furlong

  4. Madelyn Rodelgio

    Black Tokyo, thank you for your accurate and insightful reporting. Hopefully, young brothers at home will learn something from this story. Hopefully, young girls everywhere can learn from what happens when you let your guard down — anywhere. Rest in peace, Ms. Furlong and I hope your friend overcomes her trauma.

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