Miura Dead in L.A. of Apparent Suicide

October 11, 2008

Kazuyoshi Miura, facing charges of murder conspiracy in the death of his wife, was found dead of an apparent suicide in his jail cell in Los Angeles. Miura is accused of being involved in the shooting death of his wife Kazumi in Los Angeles in November 1981. Miura served some time in prison in Japan for an earlier attempt on his wife, but was acquitted of being involved in Kazumi’s death.

My understanding of the case Los Angeles was making was that the murder conspiracy charge as it exists in California does not exist in Japan meaning that he’d never been tried for that particular crime. Thus, the argument was that he was not being retried for the same offense (double jeopardy), he was being tried for a crime he’d not yet been tried for.

He apparently had agreed to return to L.A. on the grounds that the murder charged be dropped for the lesser conspiracy charge, but prosecuters issued a 25 page motion to have the murder charges reinstated.

He was found dead of an apparent suicide by hanging around 10 p.m.

I’m very very surprised that most of the bulletin boards around Japan that have picked up this story seem to be filled with comments accusing police of killing him.  Personally, I don’t see it. It doesn’t seem like a big enough deal for police to risk careers and families to kill a 61 year old guy bound for prison or Japan (if acquitted).

There were even comments that implied a connection between economic woes and this case. An overwhelming number of comments seemed to imply that it was a suicide caused by the stress of all this, or a murder or “assassination” by police to cover up the big mess caused by a false case against him.

As I said above, I don’t see an assassination. I see a 61 year old Japanese guy with a history and convictions of trying to kill his wife, being tried with new evidence and facing 25 years in a California prison, fearing the consequences.