The tragic news of a mother who drowned her disabled daughter in a bathtub after becoming clinically depressed has drawn sympathy from Mixi netizens.
The court heard that the woman, who felt despair despite increased help from her family and an improvement in an illness her daughter was suffering from, had intended to commit suicide after killing her daughter, who was 29 at the time of her death.
The judge ruled that the woman could not be held responsible for murder given the circumstances surrounding her actions, and netizens strongly agree, noting that unless you have experienced the difficulties of caring for someone with a disability yourself, then you cannot possibly know what the family went through.
Mother Found Innocent Of Murdering Disabled Daughter, Suspected Of Being Of Unsound Mind — Osaka District Court
On September 3, a judgement was delivered in the jury trial of a mother (58) accused of murder for having drowned her eldest daughter who had a mental disability (29 at the time). Judge Taguchi Naoki stated that “It is considered that she suddenly decided on a forced double suicide, and there is the suspicion that she was of unsound mind at the time”, and handed down an innocent verdict (the recommended sentence was 4 years).
The mother was accused of having drowned her daughter after submerging her in the bathtub at their home. The prosecution claimed that the woman was of diminished capacity, which although temporary, brought into question her criminal responsibility for a forced double suicide brought on by the burden of caring for her daughter as well as a despairing outlook on her daughter’s condition.
Judge Taguchi pointed out that her husband had been helping her care for their daughter and that there had been an improvement in the symptoms of the daughter’s illness. The judge rebutted the claims of the prosecution, saying that “The defendant, who, for a long time, had been devoted to her daughter, lacked rationality in deciding on a double suicide”, and judged that the cause of the murder could not be seen as anything other than clinical depression.
Comments from Mixi News:
I feel that an innocent verdict is correct here, but as a mother she probably wished they’d have found her guilty. I feel as sorry for the mother as the daughter, and they both tried as hard as they could, didn’t they?
It’s not the daughter’s fault for being born. Others can’t understand. For a family this is such a difficult, sad problem.
We have two children with disabilities in our family, so it’s not that I don’t understand the feeling that people get very depressed, but I’ve never wanted to kill my own child. I guess in the end one person was bearing all the burden.
Wasn’t there also something like “compassion to find her guilty”? There are some scars that won’t disappear unless you are given a punishment in society. Terrible.
I don’t suppose this is something you can comment on as a third person who doesn’t know the situation and who wasn’t there at the time…But the mother…even if she is legally innocent, I guess she will live with the burden of the crime in her heart…
This is a really tragic incident, but there are clearly extenuating circumstances, more so than for those idiots who perpetrate murder and violence but pretend to have some condition.
I don’t know whether this sentence is right or wrong, but the only thing I can say is that caring for someone who is disabled is way way harder than anyone can imagine.
No one else can understand how worried this mother was. I wish that they would give the expenses of those useless ex-bureaucrats in the private sector and the superfluous politicians in the Diet to help people like that. Our current Prime Minister is so defiant that he won’t reduce the number of politicians in the Diet. Big liar.
We have a child with a disability in our family too. I’ve never thought to lay a hand on him, but things are really difficult, so I understand how that woman felt to such a point that it hurts. It’s a terrible pity when if they’d had carers and others to help them they might have lessened the burden.
I don’t think that this is something others can really comment on. Some people are saying ‘Oh, so it’s ok to murder someone who’s mentally handicapped if you’re depressed, but that’s not what this verdict says at all. The problem is that everyone’s situation is different, and only the people who were in that situation at the time know how it feels.
I can’t help but feel that for this mother, an innocent verdict is a more severe punishment than tens of years in prison.
It’s hell if you live and it’s hell if you die. This was a choice made at the end of the kind of torment that only the mother herself can know. Everyone knows that it is wrong to kill.
I kind of feel that a guilty verdict with a suspended sentence would also have been a good option in this case…
More than a few times I’ve thought to myself that it would be easier if I murdered my child. But then I think of course my child is lovely, and I am the only one who can protect them!! I think that raising a child with a disability is a lot harder that anyone thinks.
Hmmmmm….We can’t say anything about this. Such a difficult thing goes beyond our imagination….
The only people who can tell that woman that she shouldn’t have killed her daughter are other parents of mentally disabled children. I guess there was no one around who could have helped the mother.
Come on Abe, we need a society where even if you have a disability you can live on the same level as able-bodied people…
Even the sentence recommended by the prosecution was 4 years, which seems like that had really considered the woman’s mental health more than the judgement did, but anyway, this woman might collapse under the strain of responsibility of her crime every time she tries to get back on her feet.