Due Process Ought to Be Allowed to Run Its Course

Article excerpt

Imagine a Makiyo Kawashima having nothing left in her mouth except, perhaps, her gums and a tongue. Also imagine a blind Makiyo after her two beautiful eyes have been gouged out of their sockets. Yes, that is her, the television personage who allegedly kicked the taxi driver twice after her friend, one Takateru Tomoyori, allegedly a gangster in Japan, gave him a severe thrashing on Feb. 2.

Even if "a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye" is the way things should be in human societies, it appears that we might already have extracted all the teeth from Makiyo's mouth and gouged out her two eyes. For her immaturity, the woman is paying a very steep price. She is crushing under the combined weight of the media and opinion makers, whoever they might be.

It must be stressed, however, in a civilized society, assault and battery is a criminal offense punishable with a prison term if it is serious enough; and ganging-up against somebody in a fight and lying about it every step of the way afterwards to save his/her own hide is cowardly and unacceptable behavior. In the final analysis, the woman has nobody to blame except herself for the predicament in which she now finds herself, and the sympathy of most people has to rest with the unfortunate cabbie.

So for more than a week, the woman who used to bask in the limelight was cast in a most unfavorable light. Members of the press and the media descended on her like a swarm of blood-thirsty locusts whenever she emerged from her hiding place, talk show hosts and commentators chastised her in a way that was no better than name-calling, advertisers said they were going to withdraw advertisements featuring her while reserving their right to sue her for damages; and her former friends - some friends they are - were distancing themselves from her, if not leaving her to the dogs altogether. …