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Killers of youth get three and half years behind bars

Date Posted: 2003-06-14

Two teenagers were convicted Monday of killing a friend who had refused to help them get money. Naha District court sentenced one boy to three and half years in prison for killing a 19-year-old senior citizen's home worker a year ago. Another boy was sent to the family court supervised custody, while a girl who had been present at the scene was not accused of any crime.

Both boys were under 17 years old when they beat their older friend to death because he refused to get a loan from a consumer loan company to buy a car for the two younger boys.

Although children under 20 of age are seldom sent to a prison in Japan, the cruelty of the crime warranted a prison sentence in this case, according to the presiding judge. "Although these children are under age, the crime was so senseless and cruel and done totally for selfish reasons that the society has no other option than to send the accused to a prison term," the judge said.

The sentence did not, however, satisfy the father of the dead youth. He considered the three and half year sentence way too lenient. Upon hearing the sentence, he reportedly burst into tears and started screaming and cursing at the defendants.

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