What You Need to Know:
- We know how Death Note works - just write a person's name in the notebook and they die. Simple, right? In Death Note L somehow finds Light's connections to the killings, and somehow surmises that it is through Death Note. But in the first place, were Light's actions within the boundaries of the law?
- Charapedia interviewed a lawyer, Yoshiyuki Iwasa-sensei to clear up this suspicion. Check out the full interview below! (Too long for you? Jump to the tl;dr version at the end of this post!)
- So that's it. Basically, the act of murder is not legal (obviously), but it is almost impossible to prove Light Yagami's direct influence on the death of the person, especially since he is not even there when the person dies. And if it can't be proven that he did actually do it, even if he has the intention to do so and confesses, if his confession is the only evidence, then he cannot be held liable for the act.
- Perhaps the only person who can catch him is that hunchbacked genius with a manic sweet-tooth.
With the current Japanese law, would it be possible for a homicide ruling? Also, if a criminal confesses that "I wrote his name in a notebook and killed him" enough evidence?
Sensei: The murders in Death Note are caused by the danger in writing in the notebook of their name, thereby causing of death. However, generally speaking, the act of simply writing a person's name on a notebook is not a dangerous act that would cause a person to die. The judge will not recognize that a person has died just because of the writing of his or her name in a notebook. Of course, you can try to verify it and write someone's name, but that person will die. Also, regarding the cofession of the criminal becoming an evidence of murder. According to Article 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code which stipulates that "the accused is not convicted if the confession is the only evidence that is detrimental to himself, whether or not it is a confession done in the courtroom", even if he confesses to the murders, he will still be not found guilty.
So, for example, if I wrote someone's name on an ordinary notebook, and he or she died a few days later, what are the chances that I will be charged?
Sensei:None. Writing someone's name in an ordinary notebook is not a dangerous act, and the person dying a few days later makes it not a direct cause of death.
Not considering Death Note, can you kill people without directly handling them, such as cursing or brainwashing? Would that be considered a violation of the law?
Sensei: For cursing, it would be difficult to prove murder because it is difficult to prove the danger of the act and causal relationship to the death of the person as explained earlier. On the other hand, in the case of brainwashing, there is a possibility that murder charges could be established. In past trials, there were times when the victimes were induced to committing suicide because of violence or other psychological pressures and this would make them the indirect cause of the murder. The crime is punishable and the penalty would be executed if the person uses another person (which includes the victim) to commit the act even without direct action.
In the end, if the crimes in Death Note actually occur, how are we going to catch the criminal with the current Japanese law?
Sensei:It just comes down to two things- the danger of the act, and the causality. It is difficult to judge the killing by Death Note as a crime unless the causal relationship between the act and death is proven. If this can just be proven, there is no need to make a new legislation.
(Translation credit: Honey's Anime)