crime

2 death row inmates hanged, bringing 2018 executions to 15

33 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2018 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
Login to comment

Japan is one of the few developed nations to retain the death penalty, and public support for it remains high despite international criticism

I was discussing this with a few Japanese men once. I mentioned that in my home country, there are plenty of people who oppose the death penalty. They said that they were surprised by that. I pressed them to consider if it brought up any ethical questions. They shrugged and said, "We were taught that the death penalty is fair and correct." End of story, as far as they were concerned.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

And you think other countries 'justice systems are better? Yeah right.

The ones that don't run the risk of killing innocent people? The ones that don't indulge in state-sanctioned killing?

Yeah, they're better.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Ganbare Japan!

There's little to no evidence that demonstrates that capital punishment deters any crimes, particularly murders, the majority of which aren't premeditated first degree murders but are second degree, voluntary manslaugher, etc. Contrary to what you claim, in the U.S., states with no capital punishment have the lowest murder rates and the states that abolish the death penalty don't experience any increase in the murder rate. Look it up.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

don't trust japan jurisdiction system any more after what ghons and kelly going thru.

hope japan prosecutors did not bring dead penalty to innocence people.

5 ( +19 / -14 )

You'd think that the number of cases where defendants have been wrongly convicted based on coerced confessions would deter them from using capital punishment. This pair was sentenced 14 years ago - did they suddenly become significantly more dangerous this week?

5 ( +13 / -8 )

What waste of punishment. Now, these losers are free, but the families of their victims are not. I will never support the death penalty regardless of the circumstances. A live in a small cell is punishment. Death is a release.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

lm24cl

The victims and their family's opinions matter the most to me.

Oh right. Let's have the victims' closest families/friends who are affected the most emotionally decide the sentence. I'm sure they'll handle it rationally.

Capital punishment is an irreversible sentence carried out by fallible people and an imperfect justice system. To rationalize capital punishment you have to accept the fact that the practice WILL result in the execution of an innocent person at some point when applied. There have been far too many convicted death row inmates who have been later exonerated due to forced confessions, new evidence and forensic techniques, etc. to make that morally acceptable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope the got the right guys.... you have to wonder if also they had forced confessions.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Death penalties - no matter which country practices them - are barbaric.

And they don't deter murderers.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I agree with a previous post by erbaviva, the death penalty should not be thought of as a deterrent although it may be to some small extent. The purpose for the death penalty is because it is the only punishment that can be administered that is commensurate to the crime of premeditated murder. Given Japan’s population the fact that a mere 100 convicted murderers are on death row does not seem excessive in the least.

I would like it only to be used when the murder is easily proven or if the person charged admits to the crime. Where to draw the line on what is easily proven is admittedly subjective. But without the death penalty justice for murder would be completely impossible. Life in prison with television, recreation, free education, food and health care isn’t a punishment at all compared to murder.

What waste of punishment. Now, these losers are free

Free? Not unless they rose from the dead.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

That's how in western Europe, where death penalty has been abolished, heavy criminal penalties actually served generally don't exceed 8 years of prison, and it's not rare to have murderers (even those who litterally butchered their victims) actually staying only 4 years or less in prison.

Killing people in the worse way possible is worth of truly 8 years in prison at most.

I'm surprised no one else has called John out on this unless it fell into the TLDR category.

The information above is clearly false and probably comes from a suspect news source.

In the UK, the worst kind of murders are sentenced to 30 years minimum. No one given a life sentence has any guarantee of release. Some countries such as the Nordic ones have a maximum term of 20 years. But these claims of 4 years for murder are totally false.

I hope that John is just confused and not deliberately trying to mislead.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Germans sickened by state executions abolished capital punishment after WW2, but the Japanese ruling class never looked back and learning from history showed any contrition or remorse for the violence they inflicted. Killing the chicken to scare the monkey is the time-honored legacy of centuries of samurai arrogance and ruthlessness. A more enlightened, liberal approach to crime and punishment cannot be expected from Abe and his reactionary camp followers, so that abolishing capital punishment and removing other remnants of Japanese feudalism is clearly a task that will have to be left up to a younger generation of Japanese.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

And you think other countries 'justice systems are better? Yeah right.

With a Japan's human right violating 99.9% conviction rate, yes there are way better justice systems in this world. The ones that respect the fact that anyone is first and foremost innocent and has to be proven guilty. That's the fundamental principle of presumption of innocence. And I assume one should have a minimum level of education to understand it...

Japan has the lowest murder rate in the world.

This is actually not true if you want to play the game of who has the lowest one. And in fact the very low homicide rates in Japan is somewhat debatable since the rates derived from criminal justice data (typically recorded by police authorities) is questionable in Japan.

The major reason is because it has the death penalty to make criminals think again before doing a heinous crime.

This is not true. US for example has death penalty and it has nowhere managed to reduce in any significant way its high homicide rate. 

Now whether or not you agree with death penalty put aside, what you should ask yourself is why Japan which calls itself civilized still uses hanging. That just shows to the world that the country is barbarian.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Wolfpack - I agree with a previous post by erbaviva, the death penalty should not be thought of as a deterrent

So, if it is not a deterrent, what is it? Some people have called it justice. I call it revenge. You could even call it, government sanctioned murder.

Most of the inmates on death death row in Japan have admitted they committed their crimes to get the death penalty. A good example of this is that whacko that went nuts in akihabara all those years ago. He stated he did it tongetbthe death penalty. This tells you that, the death penalty actually encourages murders and does not deter them. It is revenge for crimes that most likely would not have occurred without a death penalty.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan has the lowest murder rate in the world. The major reason is because it has the death penalty to make criminals think again before doing a heinous crime.

No, there are other countries with lower murder rates than Japan.

While I agree in principle with the death penalty, I don't think that any conviction for anything in Japan can be regarded as safe.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@USNinJapan2

Contrary to what you claim, in the U.S.............and so on.

We are not talking about the U.S. here. We are talking about Japan. I remeber this case. In January 1988, the pair abducted and killed the president and an employee of asset management firm Cosmo Research in Osaka Prefecture. They also robbed them of 100 million yen before encasing the bodies of the victims in concrete in dumping them in a mountainous area of of Kyoto Prefecture. It was an extremely brutal case, one that selfishly robbed the victims of their precious lives,” said Takashi Yamashita, the Minister of Justice, who added that the decision to execute the inmates was made on Tuesday. “Capital punishment was the ruling finally decided upon after a sufficient trial and careful consideration.”

Extremely brutal case that shook Japan's nerves.

However, in Japan Japanese officials commonly claim that their country retains and uses capital punishment because it deters homicide. Although this claim is contested, few empirical studies have been done to assess the empirical reality. In fact (monthly homicide statistics obtained from Japan’s National Police Agency in 2017) to examine whether Japan’s death penalty deters homicide or robbery-homicide. Using vector autoregression models, it concludes that neither death sentences nor executions deter homicide or robbery-homicide.

Japan will never give up Capital punishment. Here is why. The Japanese public wants it in place.

https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/centres-institutes/centre-criminology/blog/2014/01/death-penalty-japan

Keizo Kawamura, and Hiroya Suemori took life in Japan for profit. They were executed for it. I think on the grand scale of things we have seen a drastic reduction in organized crime murder plots or murder for hire in Japan. I think Yakuza groups do think twice before taking lives to line their pockets now.

Is right? Maybe so. Maybe not. When in Rome.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Tony Soprano as said.

“A wrong decision is better than indecision.

I will say this. When it comes to Japan's stance on Capital punishment. No indecision what so ever.

You’re going to swing and that’s that. Most of the Japanese public demand it.

Executions have been in Japan's history since. God knows when.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

There is no justification ever for the state to murder even the worst criminals. It is only for revenge and has no impact on crime rates nor does it serve as a deterrent. It is just a barbaric way to satisfy enraged blood lust. Death penalties are only supported in the most childish of countries.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

While hanging is considered by many to be suitable punishment on a "let the punishment fit the crime basis" sometimes an innocent person is hanged---I know of two in the 20th century--one in England and one in Melbourne, Australia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Many times I think that I would rather receive the death sentence than the indefinite pain of the one I have actually been receiving for almost six years. Whether rightly or wrongly sentenced I am sure many in similar circumstances feel the same.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Call me babaric but I still think death penalty is necessary to some extent. It probably will not deter murderers with mental issues but I feel it will reduce premeditated murders.

And how do you feel about criminals peddling opiods.

Some views may change if they themselves are related to victims.

Statistics can only do so much cause every country have their own values and culture, which creates very different societies and therefore a very different criminal profile.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The minister, who is a a former prosecutor, said he ordered the executions after careful consideration, and made it clear that Japan would not stop capital punishment any time soon.

nice to see an open minded and one track minded prosecutor make it abundantly clear that killing people is OK. Hang them all. He'll nobody cares.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

15, that's one or more a month government killing people for killing people? And yes some other countries justice systems are so far ahead. Perhaps your version of justice is a bullet in the back of the head in a soccer stadium.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

death penalty is not a deterrent, its justice served.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

@ Ah_so

I'm not talking about the verdict, but the years those criminals do really spend in prison, which is actually 2 different things.

And if I misspoke, I apologize, but I was referring to western European Union countries in general, and not England (which hasn't been totally in EU, and now there is the Brexit, which practises life in prison as a trade-off of the abolition of death penalty which is common sense when you want to adjust the whole scale of penalties as I previously talked about).

With this being said, my statement is rather accurate than false.

See what happens in France, Belgium, Germany.

In France for example, all years-in-prison verdicts (heavy criminal sentences included) are almost always at least halved during the sentence adjustment process, which happens behind the curtains and after the verdict has been delivered.

And, all 2 years-in-prison or less sentenced criminals do not do a single day of prison, and are instead kept out of prison with electronic bracelet with more or less control (rather less than more in fact). To get served in a verdict 2 years of prison, in France, you really must have done something really severe !

When these countries lower the scale of penalties to that extend, no wonder why many rapist are not served a single day in prison. If rape is generally woth of an electronic bracelet for a few months (if the rapist is even arrested in the first place and if he doesn't invoke "cultural differences", no kiddin), then murder is woth a couple of years in prison at most. Would they sentence mass murderers, even terrorists a lot more ? Surely not a lot more.

Since the 2015 Paris terror attacks, terrorists and terrorist-affiliated who were captured are being kept in prison. But, as we speak, INTERPOL announced that by the end of this year and the next year, many of them will be released, and they cannot do anything until they start again terror attacks. 2019 - 2015 = 4 years for carrying out terror attacks. Seems fair enough ?

But anyway, I don't really care what other countries do. If people do not protest hard enough for what it appears to me to be severely lax, then surely they deserve it happily.

The whole point was to explain that death penalty serves a purpose (as the maximum, the ultimate punishment) in what it is called the scale of penalties.

Being emotional about it only leads to hysterical debates that doesn't serve any purpose.

When people want to get rid of the higher end of their scale of penalties (because it's too cruel, not progressive enough), and when they keep lowering that higher end, then they end like France and other western EU countries where the verdicts do not have anymore meaning at all. But it appears that it is the "progressive" way.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As Tony Soprano would say, "Bada Bing."

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Sorry typo battery in keyboard died.

Tony Soprano also said.

“A wrong decision is better than indecision.

I will say this. When it comes to Japan's stance on Capital punishment. No indecision what so ever.

You’re going to swing and that is that. Most of the Japanese public demand it.

Executions have been in Japan's history since. God knows when.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

It's sad how some of us damn capital punishment. Yet ......... I hope we think of all victims whose lives are changed forever or have been taken by criminals on death-row - regardless of guilty or not guilty opinions. The victims and their family's opinions matter the most to me.

For me, I'm damned if capital is carried out, and I'm damned if it's not - "two wrongs, in my opinion, do not make it right"

Afterthought: May the criminal's souls rest, and may the victims and their families have some peace after all this.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Death penalty is ok if reserved for the worst criminals and only after it's completely sure the inmate is the real criminal.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

@mtuffizi

And you think other countries 'justice systems are better? Yeah right.

-7 ( +17 / -24 )

Death penalty is part of the scale of penalties.

When you get rid of death penalty, you disrupt the whole scale unless you adjust each other step of the scale.

In countries that abolished death penalty, criminals who would have been previously sentenced to death, are they actually sentenced to life in prison instead ?

No. Why not ? Because, human-rights wise, life is prison is already too cruel.

So, they got rid of death penalty, they don't even practise life in prison. What's left for those criminals ? 20-30 years in prison at most ? Fine.

So this 20-30 years in prison becomes the new "death penalty" , the new "maximum" in the new scale of penalties. It means, although it exists, criminals will be rarely sentenced to this maximum.

In other words, these criminals (who would have been sentenced to death before that country abolished death penalty) will be sentenced less than 20 years.

Oh by the way, they behave well, ie they didn't kill anybody in prison, they didn't escape, they didn't assault guards, their sentenced are halved, right ?

Oh but, 10 years in prison (at most) in already too cruel, inhuman ! They deserve another chance, be it their 2nd chance, their 3rd, 4th, ... 20th... 50th, they always deserve another chance, right ?

So instead of 10 years in prison at most, they will do an average of 5 years in prison at most, and the rest will be freed from prison with electronic bracelet.

And once they are freed, they can start over and kill, rape, butcher, mass murder, participate in terror attacks, etc...

That's how in western Europe, where death penalty has been abolished, heavy criminal penalties actually served generally don't exceed 8 years of prison, and it's not rare to have murderers (even those who litterally butchered their victims) actually staying only 4 years or less in prison.

Killing people in the worse way possible is worth of truly 8 years in prison at most.

That is the new maximum on the scale of penalties in many western European countries that have abolished the death penalty. See the gap ? What a farce ! No wonder why people are asking back the death penalty in these countries, or at least, true life in prison.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Japan has the lowest murder rate in the world. The major reason is because it has the death penalty to make criminals think again before doing a heinous crime.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

For those who feel outraged that Japan practises and in willing to continue practising death penalty, may I remind you that in countries that have abolished the death penallty, death penalty hasn't disappear at all : it still exists and it is reserved for murderers' victims.

In other word, in those countries that have abolished death penalty, death penalty has been totally privatised. Is it this kind of "justice" you are seeking to see applied in every corner of the globe ?

By the way, It still exist assassinations from state secret service in several countries that have officially abolished death penalty although they are not made public (of course), but for average people, death penalty is 100% privatised.

And, in Japan, death penalty isn't reserved for every murderer, but only for a few of them. Basically, death penalty is Japan is killing some killers, not all of them, meanwhile murderers, as their name indicts, kill all of their victims.

I hear those of you claiming that death penalty is so bad, so atrocious ! Human rights must prevail ! You may not know, but a few weeks after the killing of Khashoggi, UN congratulated Saudi Arabia on its respect for human rights ! No kidding, no joke :

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/are-you-sitting-un-congratulates-saudi-arabia-on-its-respect-for-human-rights.587059/

So, UN basically is saying that at least in Saudi Arabia, death penalty is respecful of human rights ; isn't that great ?

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites