Human beings always encounter suffering, even when they are economically well off.
This is why people find it important to search for methods to deal with those sufferings, especially methods offered through religion.
However, if one happens to meet the wrong people or take up a faulty path, the results can be devastating ? it is worse than asking for help and not finding an answer.
Chizuo Matusmoto ? the founder of Aum Shinrikyo ? had claimed and convinced many followers that he was a man free from all attachments and causes of worldly suffering, a man worthy of being a good spiritual leader. Unfortunately, his later actions reveal that he harbored many harmful ideas and intentions.
He turned out to be a fake and a sham. Many young people mistakenly placed faith in his words and ended up committing crimes.
Yoshihiro Inoue was one of such youths. He was only 15 years old, and had no experience with the complexities of society when he joined Aum Shinrikyo.
It was after Yoshihirofs arrest in 1995 that he realized his mistake in placing absolute faith in Chizuo Matusmoto. AUM had taken advantage of Yoshihirofs blind faith into committing crimes he now deeply regrets.
Unfortunately, there are still many young people who have such faith in Matusmoto.
This is where Yoshihiro can play an important role. He can explain and warn others of Aum Shinrikyofs inner workings, and reveal the many crimes that AUM members were led to do.
It is crucial for Yoshihiro to have the chance to reveal the faults and harms of Aum Shinrikyo, and to dissuade those who still hold naive faith in Matusmoto like he once had.
Yoshihiro and associate of supporters has sent the following petition:
gI have committed many crimes. There are no words of apology that can make up for what was done to the victims and their families, and no words to show my distress and deep regret for my crimes.
I have made a firm resolution that, for however long I am permitted to live, I will always contemplate and practice this simple question: how to use onefs short life to benefit others and ease their suffering?h
(Shouldnft we consider such a question for ourselves, too?)
In the first trial, Yoshihiro was only sentenced to life imprisonment (June 2000). The Judgement document states:
g[Yoshihiro] did not try to refuse his responsibility of crime in this trial. He has described facts behind the crime many timescwe can sense the defendantfs regret through his cooperation.h
The first court saw that Yoshihiro has reflected completely and whole-heartedly about his past conduct and actions.
In addition, Yoshihiro only acted as a liaison during Aum Shinrikyofs sarin gas attacks in the subways of Tokyo, and never directly acted out the crimes himself.
The court also considered Yoshihirofs situation when he first joined Aum ? he was going through an unstable family crisis in midst of his teenage High School years, which made him vulnerable to tricks and manipulation.
Considering the above points, the court in the first trial sentenced Yoshihiro to life imprisonment instead of the death penalty.
Mr. Hiromiei Inoue, who was the president of court during the first trial stated as follows:
gThe court, first of all, considered the injured persons and their families. Much sorrow, grief, and mourning were expressed by those injured and the bereaving families. Their statements were impressed quite deeply in the court membersf minds. However the court also recognized that the accused has experienced agonies and pains in the chest due to his own sense of guilt and regret.
In conclusion, the court chooses the accused to live in due consideration of his deep regret born from sincere introspection and awakening from the heart.h
However, on December 10, 2009, the Supreme Court rejected Yoshihirofs appeal and assigned the death sentence instead.
We should take the Supreme Courtfs judgment into serious consideration, keeping in mind of all the injured persons and bereaving families.
However, there is a final point we hope readers can consider regarding Yoshihirofs sentence.
Mr. Toshio Yamada, President of the court in the second trial, had stated the following:
gThe accused has offered his sincere apology for the injured persons and the bereaved family. He is penitent towards his crimes. He knows he has committed irreparable damage and has sincerely expressed his regret toward those injured and the bereaved family. He has now broken ties from the influence of Matusmoto, and is no longer a potential threat for committing the same kind of crimes. g
Despite such sympathetic statements in favor of Yoshihiro, why is capital punishment the final outcome when the first trial has only sentenced him to life imprisonment? Does this imply that the first trial is simply a misjudgment to be ignored?
This petition is to allow Yoshihiro to live, to let him help reveal the faults and inner workings of Aum Shinrikyo, and to let him continue his peaceful meditation practices from a spiritual path that does not condone violence of any kind.
In order to bring those matters into reality, this website is built to gather petition signatures for Yoshihiro to live.