If You're A Wanted Fugitive In The US And You Blog, Maybe Don't Mention Plans To Travel To A US Territory

from the just-a-suggestion dept

The LA Times has a story about a Japanese man who has been wanted on charges of murder for over 25 years, who was finally arrested thanks to him tipping off authorities on his blog that he would be traveling to the US territory of Saipan. Kazuyoshi Miura is believed by US authorities to have killed his wife, while the pair were visiting the US in 1981. He was tried and convicted in Japan -- but the case was overturned. US authorities have been trying to arrest him ever since. Apparently, a few years back he set up a blog, and US police have been monitoring it to see if he would do something so silly as to mention the fact that he'd be traveling to a US territory -- which he actually did. So, just as a public service announcement: if you're a wanted fugitive in the US, perhaps don't announce on your blog that you'll be traveling there.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 1:08pm

    Why?

    From what I read in the article, not only was the case overturned, he truly believes he's innocent (or he's trying to hid it really well). Maybe, since the ruling was overturned in Japan and obviously wasn't imprisoned for the crime, he figured it was over.

    By the way, the link seems to have a problem. I only get a blank page. That is why I linked to the article.

     

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  2.  
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    Matt Bennett, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 1:26pm

    Yeah, isn't this Double Jeopardy? You can only try a guy once. We apparently consented to let the Japanese try him rather than doing it ourselves, which happens occasionally (and it seems reasonable, as it was only Japanese nationals involved) That didn't work out so well. That it, it's over, fini. You can't try him again. WTF!?!

     

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  3.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 1:35pm

    Re:

    "But in 2004, California lawmakers removed the double jeopardy protection for those put on trial overseas after Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy David March was shot and killed in 2002 by a foreign national who later fled to Mexico" -Linked to article, second page.

    Yep, kill a cop and they change the rules just to come after your ass.

     

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  4.  
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    zenlunatic, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    And international law is tricky at best. Actyally, the law says a US citizen can't be tried twice for the same crime, it's unconstitutional. But the US Constitution doesn't apply to foreign nationals.

     

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  5.  
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    Richard, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    Even if they removed the double-jeopardy provision, common sense would say that it should only apply to cases after the law was put into place.

    Also, doesn't the US Constitution have some amendment about double jeopardy?

     

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  6.  
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    zenlunatic, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    And international law is tricky at best. Actually, the law says a US citizen can't be tried twice for the same crime, it's unconstitutional. But the US Constitution doesn't apply to foreign nationals.

     

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  7.  
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    Matt Bennett, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 2:04pm

    Well, yes, I was about to say, I don't really care if the state of California "removed their double-jeopardy provision" they didn't come up with the principle, it's in the the constitution. I'm also not sure about this "only if he's a U.S Citizen" nonsense. It's not even like the prisoners in Gitmo. Those are enemy combatants, and there are real laws suggesting they should be treated differently than regular criminals. This is just a foreign national who committed a crime. At the very least, I imagine Japan might have something very strong to say about this.

    Anyway, point is, doun't think it's legal, and I don't think the courts will let it stand.

     

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  8.  
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    Aaron, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 2:04pm

    Heavy Duty

    Wow what a horrible place to be in.

    I found this comment quite profound, thanks.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 2:07pm

    Surveillance

    The way things are these days, you should probably update your PSA to include "talking with an American about your travel plans on the telephone" and "e-mailing your travel plans via an American ISP".

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 2:15pm

    Public Service Announcement

    Thanks for the info.
    /fugitive

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 2:18pm

    So, just as a public service announcement: if you're a wanted fugitive in the US, perhaps don't announce on your blog that you'll be traveling there.

    Nice to see Techdirt watches out for felons.

    Also, pretty sure double jep. only applies to being tried in US Courts for the same thing.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 2:55pm

    Seen the story about a person who was tried, convicted of , and spent time in jail for a 1966 shooting? He is now under arrest for murder. 42 years later the person has died and the attending doctor stated the cause of death as complications brought about from his paralysis that was caused by the shooting. This is what I would call a double jeopardy situation.
    RE: http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSN2746806320080228

     

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  13.  
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    Joe, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 3:00pm

    Double jeopardy is meant to protect a person from being punished multiple times for the same crime. In simple terms, its to stop you from being harassed. If your conviction is overturned, then you legally havent been convicted of the crime, and can be retried. Usually, and also obviously I would assume, if a conviction is overturned there is typically enough evidence that would suggest a retrial would not succeed. Who knows what happened in the japan trial. He can also can be arrested and tried under different charges other than murder.

     

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  14.  
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    Bobbknight, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 3:31pm

    Double Jeopardy

    I don't recall ever reading in the US Constitution about the subject of double jeopardy with regards to crimes committed in the USA where the person was exonerated by a foreign court.
    Maybe a couple of the I love international law supreme court judges will let him off after he has been convicted here.
    As to the California case it was a state law and it was changed by the state, perfectly allowed in the US republican form of government.

     

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  15.  
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    Paul`, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 3:44pm

    Re:

    Thats only under one judicial system. He was tried in two different countries.

     

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  16.  
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    whirler, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 4:00pm

    According to this article, "He was tried and convicted in Japan -- but the case was overturned." Where is it stated that he was tried a second time in a different country Paul? The US just got his hands on him, he hasn't yet come to trial here on these charges... What did I miss?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 6:20pm

    Double Jeopardy ?

    He is not "perfectly innocent man" at all. overseas article doesn't write that though the point complicates the problem.
    1.He was guilty in the case that the he made mistress attack her wife. (never overturned in this case)
    2.He shoplifted twice recently. (One case is in the public trial)
    3. The woman who was working at his company was discovered as the corpse in LA 1979. (unsolved murder case)
    4. There is no "conspiracy crime" in Japan.
    (The suspicion of the arrest caused by LAPD is different from the crime of Japan. )

     

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  18.  
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    MrWizard, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 7:15pm

    Actually, the "double jeopardy" that everyone is referring to states the you cannot be tried more than once for the same crime in the same jurisdiction.
    Most military know this. If they get in trouble "downtown", the military will also punish them for the same act. The military can do this because they are federal.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 8:24pm

    Re:

    If the army "Punished" crime, it might be a good case...Do you know how much the army is protecting them when the U.S. armyman violates the sex crime in overseas?
    How many pedophiles return to the hometown as a hero?


    adding.
    It was not "Blog" though LAPD said so. His blog was never found by any Japanese... you know, it was SNS. Yes, if you are a wanted fugitive in the US, it would be better to never write your foolish Nickname in any page.

    applaud to LAPD and Old Jimmy.

     

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  20.  
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    Le Blue Dude, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re:

    Not bloody many. I mean, really, for the most part people are people, and people don't fuck kids.

    Maybe YOU have urges towards kids that make you think it's an inevitable part of being human, but most humans do not. Mostly they're good people. Trained to kill without any remorse, or trained to get really angry and kill, but good people nevertheless. Except the assholes, but you find them everywhere.

     

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  21.  
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    big boy, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 10:11pm

    how come this pig was not dragged back to the us long ago
    dont forget this son a a bitch is a murderer he should rot in hell why was he not expideted

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 29th, 2008 @ 10:57pm

    Why was he able to escape while such a long time?
    because LAPD had dealings with the Japanese police at that time.
    This word might be suitable,
    "I think they were all nuts and a bunch of wimps"
    - Lt. Gen. Earl Hailston 2001

    I hope LAPD arrest the criminal who killed Jane Doe 88...
    No one is Double Jeopardy in that cold case.

     

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  23.  
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    BTR1701, Mar 1st, 2008 @ 8:26am

    Re: Re:

     

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  24.  
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    BTR1701, Mar 1st, 2008 @ 8:28am

    Re: Re: Double Jeopardy

    > But in 2004, California lawmakers removed the double jeopardy
    > protection for those put on trial overseas

    I'm not sure how California lawmakers have the authority to repeal or alter double jeopardy protections. It's a guaranteed right in the U.S. Constitution and the California legislature has no legal authority to amend it.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Mar 1st, 2008 @ 8:29am

    Re: Constitution

    > But the US Constitution doesn't apply to foreign nationals.

    It does when they are in America or territory under America's control (like Saipan).

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    NOT Double Jeopardy

    the crime suspicion name is different from the trial in Japan. strictly, it cannot be treated as the same crime.

    >It's a guaranteed right in the U.S. Constitution

    NO. trial of another country was not a guaranteed object before the governor revised. from the first, U.S. Constitution has limited the double jeopardy to the United States trial. the trial of another country is not a guaranteed.

     

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  27.  
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    Mike D, Mar 2nd, 2008 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Double jeopardy

    --- US Constitution only applies to US citizens --

    Usual mistake, the 5th Amendment says "person" (and the 6th "the accused")

    The problem is that SCOTUS has held that you can be tried multiple times in different US jurisdictions, so possibly Federal + one or more states.

    No decision on Foreign trials.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2008 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Double jeopardy

    Didn't you confuse?
    "SCOTUS" that Mike D say, is it in USA? SAIPAN? JAPAN?
    Supreme Court of the United States has not judged Anything for this matter yet. SAIPAN Court, not yet too. (They do not prosecute. only hands over to LA)
    Japanese court judged once. However, this is outside of American law system. It doesn't contradict the law of Japan.

    So, Where is the problem ?
    No one has been prosecuted in Double Jeopardy yet.
    It's sure.

     

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  29.  
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    Junkyard, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 12:50am

    Re: Re:

    Um, I seem to remember that in the Rodney King beatings the officers that did the beatings were tried twice for the same crime and that was long before 2004.

    Can a lawyer out there comment on how much of double jeopardy is reality and how much is from bad TV?

     

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  30.  
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    Chad, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Uh, how can it be double jeopardy?

    He was tried *and convicted* in Japan. Even we applied the principle of double jeopardy (and I'm not convinced it's relevant as it's an extra-US court ruling), you have to be tried *and found innocent* to be protected by double jeopardy.

    You can be tried for the same crime infinitely as long as you're not found innocent by the court.

     

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  31.  
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    amaz, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 2:35pm

    He was tried and convicted in Japan, not the US.
    He can be tried in the US for the same crime.

     

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  32.  
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    SuperSparky, Mar 3rd, 2008 @ 6:32pm

    The is no such thing as being found "innocent". The correct term is "not guilty". Just because you may be found "not guilty" in no way implies your innocence. It just means you did not have enough evidence against you to convict, regardless if you were innocent or not.

    For example, OJ was found "not guilty". I don't think even those mentally deficient jurors thought he was innocent.

    Besides, the crime is alleged to have occurred in the USA and that is where he should have been tried. I seriously think Japan tried him so as he would avoid the possibility of a death sentence here, and remain in a Japanese prison.

    In the USA, people have to be tried in the jurisdiction where the crime took place, unless there is a lot of evidence they would not get a free trial in that jurisdiction, and only by a judge's ruling. Being "Constitutional" goes both ways. The Constitution declares rights, but it also demands how justice is to be served. This was done to prevent mock trials in "foreign" jurisdictions, preventing the execution of justice for whom were affected by the crime.

    Imagine someone from a corrupt foreign country kills you, but returns to their country before arrest. Let's say this person has various judges and government officials in his pocket. These officials hold a "trial" and lo-and-behold, the guy is cleared of all charges in his country. Has justice been served where the crime took place? No, and there's no possible way a reasonably fair trial (fair to both prosecution and defense) could occur in a different country than where the crime occurred.

    Finally, justice can be served with this guy, and finally be done "Constitutionally". The verdict will determine if he is guilty or not.

     

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  33.  
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    carter, Nov 26th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    justice?

    I say in the name of justice, if your found innocent and later known to be guilty beyond doubt, you should by all means be tried again ....perhaps you can play games within the law system, but not with murder. the statue of Justice is blind but we are not statues!

     

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