Nowadays juvenile crimes happen constantly. For example, they happen in Busan, Incheon and Seoul, and almost everywhere. According to the national police, the percentage of juvenile crime has increased by about 50% in 3 years. Also, the level of punishment allowed by law is weaker than for adults. Nevertheless, some people say that we have to give them another chance because they are young. I would like to introduce The Hovering Blade which addresses the seriousness of juvenile crime and the weak points of juvenile criminal law.
The story, The Hovering Blade, is about juvenile delinquents (Gaiji and his friends), who are committing sexual violence crimes for momentary pleasure and about a father who lost his daughter Emma because of them. Moreover, the father (Nagamine) receives a mysterious call and carelessly prepares to risk his whole life to get revenge for his daughter. There is also a policeman who understands Nagamine’s misery but must chase him to prevent another murder. The book satirizes the weak points of the Youth Protection Act, juvenile law, and indirectly, the seriousness of juvenile crime in Japanese society. I will explain two parts of them.
1. 'Emma`s revenge is not completed even though the police arrest Gaiji. Unless I punish Gaiji by myself, I cannot relieve the small amount of grudges that Emma had. I shouldn`t let Gaiji be arrested by the police. They should take him to jail under the shadow of the juvenile law.’
This part shows how her father thinks about the criminals and it reminds us of the expression, ‘revenge makes another revenge.’ In addition, if you look at the last sentence closely, you will notice a satire of society, whose level of punishment for adolescents is lower than that of adults because of adolescence in itself. It describes that adolescents abuse the juvenile law due to that point.
2. ‘Police might someday arrest one of the other fellows who violated my daughter. However, the punishment for him will be so light that I feel it is absurd. Perhaps we shouldn’t call it punishment because it is so light. The real purpose of the Youth Protection Act is rehabilitation and return to society. The grudge of victims is not reflected in it.’
In this part we can agree about the weak point of the law and light punishments. The father who lost his daughter by juvenile crime isn`t satisfied with the punishments that the assailants received. Rather, this part is a criticism that adolescents are punished lightly just because they are not adults. Similarly, Korean society should fix its Youth Protection Act because it has the same weak points.
The book asks if the daily increases in the number of juvenile crime cases is because of indifference and egoism of the members of society. Youth are only treated in terms of ‘reformation’ (discipline, education), rather than ‘punishment’ by juvenile protection. Therefore, the laws seem to be protecting assailants more than victims in some ways. Because the subject of the book is strong and clear, you can easily understand the contents of book. Do you think we need to give juvenile criminals one more chance to recommit again? Throughout this book, I earnestly hope that you think about the seriousness of juvenile crimes and think whether there are problems with the law for them.< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >