crime

129 inmates remain on death row

9 Comments

Japan's prisons had 129 inmates on death row as of Dec 26, according to a Justice Ministry report.

The ministry said that there were three executions in June and August, while five death-row inmates died of illnesses, including a 92-year-old man, TV Asahi reported Sunday.

A man believed to be the world’s longest-serving death row inmate, Iwao Hakamada, 78, was freed in March after the Shizuoka District Court ordered a fresh trial over the grisly 1966 murder of his boss and the man's family.

Human rights group Amnesty International has criticized Japan's use of capital punishment for being "shrouded in secrecy."

Japan and the United States are the only major industrialised democracies to carry out capital punishment, a practice that has led to repeated protests from European governments and human rights groups.

International advocacy groups say the Japanese system is cruel because death row inmates can wait for their executions for many years in solitary confinement and are only told of their impending death a few hours ahead of time.

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9 Comments
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"the Japanese system is cruel because death row inmates can wait for their executions for many years in solitary confinement and are only told of their impending death a few hours ahead of time." There should be a statute of limitations on the death penalty itself. If all appeals have been exhausted in, say 5 years at the most, the convicted individual escapes execution and spends the rest of his or her life in prison. Excuses for executions ring hollow.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Maybe it takes a long time because killing someone is a heavy thing to do and the Japanese are not in a rush to do it. I would guess that 129 inmates would say this is not something they just give out, so odds are they earned the death penalty. Maybe instead of a "wait for death" people should look at it as an extension of life, ie the longer the better. (it's more than most murderers deserve.)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

...odds are they earned the death penalty...

How did you calculate those odds? What gives you so much faith in the government? I trust the government very little with many of the small things. With the ultimate? Life and death?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Just kill Asahara already.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

And I believe its not only in justice. What you did is what you get .....

justice for everyone !

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Just read yesterday that California alone has 740 on death row, which kind of puts things into perspective.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I do not agree with the death penalty at all but why are none of the 129 on death row, mothers that have killed their children. I am astonished by the inequity of the Japanese justice system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The case of Mr Iwao Hakamada should teach us all something very very important. What if it was you...waiting to be put to death for something you haven't done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I basically agree with the idea of capital punishment. Let's face it. There have been and will be people who commit such horrendous crimes that even the word cruel does not begin to describe them. As for the death row inmates waiting for many years before their executions, that's quite understandable. They only want to make doubly sure that the inmate is indeed guilty of the crime and that there is no possible further appeal. Capital punishment may not be the ideal way, but it is probably the most rational way in a country where an overwhelming majority support it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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