crime

Japan hangs 2 inmates; first executions since July

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So the 44 year old spent more than half his life on death row. Yikes.

Whether you are for or opposed to capital punishment, keeping someone on death row for 25 years is a then hanging him has to recognized as bad idea.

21 ( +24 / -3 )

Appeals, etc can take many years, globally most will spend years on Death-row.

In Japan the Justice Minister must sign all execution orders, so it really depends if he/she is pro or con the DP.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Once upon a time, the worst punishment that you could have sentenced someone to is death. Nowadays, with the lack of certainty in convictions and the expense of proceeding to a death penalty, I'd just as soon have life without parole. It solves two problems: 1.) If a mistake were made, it can be corrected and someone won't be killed for the mistake and; 2.) It will keep the truly horrible folks off the streets.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

What a vile system, I understand punishment but to spend so long on death row expecting a rope any day for so long, no chance of rehabilitation just death. Probably a mercy killing rather than a vindictive action by the state. I'm sure other people considering killing have changed their minds, it's a deterrent right?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Murder is murder. Murder can’t be justified. No matter who did it. Both sides are wrong.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

"They were extremely cruel cases," Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa told reporters. "I ordered the executions after very careful consideration."

Well deserved. They both got what was coming to them.

Japan's capital punishment policy has drawn international criticism, while the Japan Federation of Bar Associations has called for it to be abolished by 2020, demanding lifetime imprisonment instead of the death penalty.

Hopefully Japan can keep its capital punishment in full swing beyond 2020.

No pun intended.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

The death penalty is ineffective as a deterrent. This is a fact. Hanging is a repugnant way to execute someone. Japan's system, in particular, is cruel and unusual. The condemned never know whether the next time their cell door opens will be when they are executed. Hideous and inexcusable in 2017.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

And this is what we call the killing floor.

Don't let the name fool you, it is not really a floor.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Seki was 19 when he killed a 42-year-old corporate executive, his wife, 36, their 4-year-old daughter and the executive's 83-year-old mother, while injuring the only survivor, a daughter who was 15, in 1992. He also stole 340,000 yen from their house in Chiba Prefecture.

Hang'em high

-9 ( +10 / -19 )

Giving the death penalty to a minor is particularly heinous and then making him sweat in solitary for a quarter of a century does not instill confidence in the judgment or humanity of the individuals who represent the Japanese State. Minors in Japan are particularly vulnerable since the strict regimen of the Japanese education system produces immature, naive youngsters, many of whom are emotionally incompetent and incapable of making reasoned decisions. Interestingly, the dirty work of issuing death warrants has once again been given to a female whose feminine profile is calculated to put a soft, cuddly face on a ruthless ministry. It's high time the media put pressure on the government to abolish its feudal incarceration policy and adopt more enlightened values befitting the 21st century.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

"Minors in Japan are particularly vulnerable since the strict regimen of the Japanese education system produces immature, naive youngsters, many of whom are emotionally incompetent and incapable of making reasoned decisions"

Yeah it's a well known fact that most are potential criminals. Funny that the rate of Juvenile delinquency is one of the lowest among the OECD countries...

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

To me, the death penalty is in some cases acceptable. The problem is, in which cases.  And preferable over life long incarceration which I feel is much worse than the death penalty.  

From these people all choices are revoked, all rights to decide over their life, they should be left with that one choice, the one between spending the rest of their lives in prison or the death penalty executed. 

Allow me to demonstrate how subjective this discussion is. I would personally pull the lever on those people whom stole my 2 great dogs. Making their happy lives miserable, destroying my family and my wife's and my happiness as well. For no reason but spite and evil.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The death penalties were finalized following adequate trials in the courts.

Adequate? Only adequate? Trials should be precise and deeply probing, especially if there is a possibility of someone being executed.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

@Ponch

Murderers are a minority in every society so the argument that juvenile delinquency is low in Japan is a fat red herring, irrelevant to the fact that Japanese youngsters are psychologically other-directed and have fragile identities that sometimes result in behaviors classified as きれる. I know nothing of Seki's life, but you can bet it was a very troubled one and the regimentation of the authoritarian Japanese school system could only have made things worse.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Hanging is a repugnant way to execute someone.

Incorrect. It is actually the most humane, if done correctly. What would you prefer? Firing squad? Electric chair?

I am glad Japan has rid society of these two pieces of garbage.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

19 is not a minor. (Yes, yes, the Japanese laws SAYS it is but 19 is not a minor.)

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Unfortunately,

Japanese society likes death penalty.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

One guy killed 4 people, the other killed 3. And yet these two guys can only die once each. Doesn't seem fair.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Incorrect. It is actually the most humane, if done correctly. What would you prefer? Firing squad? Electric chair?

If done correctly, hanging is humane. However, it is too easily botched. The most humane way, if done correctly, is lethal injection.

I would prefer the world act like it's 2017 and abolish the death penalty.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The most humane way, if done correctly, is lethal injection.

Hilarious! A humane way to kill people who kill innocent people. No reason it should be humane End their life in the cheapest way possible. A rope seems to work fine.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

How can they see the red square if they’re blindfolded?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Too much debate is given to the method in which they are dispatched. If the crime is as despicable as these two were, all rights are forefeited.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

To execute prisoners is inhumane regardless of crime comitted! Let alone hanging!!! Hanging was outlawed by UN after the infamous Nuremberg Trials in the aftermath of WW2. This happened because it took as long as 15 min before one of the inmates died!! Don't you know what's going on Japanese citizens!!??

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Please spare us the pseudo societal insights on Japan (peppered with the new word of Japanese you learn recently)

Delinquency has a very strict definition, I really don't see why you have to narrow things to manslaughter.

A kid in Japan has one of the lowest probabilities in the industrialized world of ending in jail (and also living past 80 years old) so they must be doing some things right...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To execute prisoners is inhumane regardless of crime comitted! Let alone hanging!!! Hanging was outlawed by UN after the infamous Nuremberg Trials in the aftermath of WW2. This happened because it took as long as 15 min before one of the inmates died!! Don't you know what's going on Japanese citizens!!??

That's why you hang'em high

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

A penalty for a crime is generally construed as a deterrent inhibiting re - offending, or preventing other from committing the crime, or survivors exacting retribution. If excessive delay or inadequate punishment occurs, then little is accomplished.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I didn't know Japan was in the small club that executes people who commit crimes as minors. Others are the usual suspects:

The People's Republic of China (PRC), Bangladesh, 

Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United States, and Yemen.

Of course, the age of majority is a lot higher in Japan.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The death penalty needs to be abolished in Japan.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

“ Hang ‘em High”.

Good work.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Morosawa's point is pretty spot on. There really is no rehabilitating someone that has committed heinous crimes, and I can't think of anything more heinous than killing a 4 year-old girl, her parents and an elderly woman all for the sake of 340,000 yen. Despite him being a 19 year-old "minor" under Japanese law should not shield him from responsibility. Even a high school student (or younger) is clearly capable of understanding the gravity of his actions and how irreversible they are. You either have it in you to do something as horrific as that, or you do not. There is no rehabilitation from that. It's not like peer pressure pushed him over the edge to try drugs or something like that. He did it on his own and in cold blood. What's the point of trying to rehabilitate him anyway? The penal system is punitive, not rehabilitative.

Some here have stated that the death penalty doesn't offer a deterrent. I would argue that it does to a point, in that while it may not deter everyone it deters enough people and I'd hate to think what would happen if the penalty for murder wasn't significant.

Either way, I think that whether the murderer should be put to death is a decision that should be left to the surviving family members. If they want to spare him, then fine. If they want justice and want the murderer put to death, then that's fine too. The murderer created a debt to that family. How that debt is to be satisfied should be up to the family, and not to the public that thinks they have the right to intervene on behalf of the "human rights" of the murderer.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@EvilMonkey - reading your part was like listening to a local talk radio station discussing the death penalty late at night when only cab drivers and security guards are still awake. Particularly your conclusions that our criminal system is only there to impart punishment and to exact revenge.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I wonder how the liberal-minded posters on this site would feel if it was one of their loved-one's killed my these monsters.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Ah_so - That's exactly why civil courts exist: to seek retribution for debts and offenses, and in cases where the offense was exceedingly blatant or callous, to also impose punitive damages. Not sure why people think that the criminal justice system should be any different.

Prison can not rehabilitate an individual, nor should it be up to prison to do that. Nothing can reform an individual but himself, so it's up to him whether he wants to reform himself for the sake of himself. Even if he does decide to reform himself, that does not forgive the debt he has to his victims. Why you see fit to insert yourself into the equation to say how repaying that debt is "fair" to both parties is beyond me. If you're not personally involved, then you shouldn't really have any interest in the matter other than virtue signalling.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@ Vernon Watts

I wonder how the liberal-minded posters on this site would feel if it was one of their loved-one's killed my these monsters.

Such a tired argument. Of course, we would would want revenge, we're only human. But revenge is not justice and its a huge mistake to confuse the two. As has been said elsewhere on this thread, murder is murder no matter who commits it. Two wrongs don't make a right and they never will.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

How can they see the red square if they’re blindfolded?

It's not for the condemned. It's so the staff position him properly.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's not for the condemned. It's so the staff position him properly.

And they have to get the rope length just right - to short and it throttles him but too long and his head pops off like a champagne cork.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The arguments in JT pro and contra the death penalty are 90% emotional and 10% rational, yet it's obviously the brain, stupid! Strange how in the 21st century not a single argument coming from the science side, on the biology, etiology of the abnormal brain (naturally in combination with environmental and nurturing factors) which research shows underpin violent aggression. One day, in a more enlightened future, science dragging ethics by the scruff of its neck will ultimately put an end to the shameful record of thousands of years of barbaric executions that have dehumanized our species.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Legally, in Japan, 19 is considered as a minor.

The argument that a 19 year old can't understand the consequences of murder because of that, is ridiculous.

To say its horrific that the guy spent a long time in jail, waiting to die, is to say his crimes weren't horrible enough to warrent such, I know a lot of you don't agree, but his crime most certainly deserves punishment that is at least that harsh.

Let the -1's flood in!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They really need to speed this up. 25 months would be too long. 25 years is crazy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The argument that a 19 year old can't understand the consequences of murder because of that, is ridiculous.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't have the same mind-set now at 50 that I did at 19, although I can remember my youth very well. Not saying that his actions are justifiable in any way, but did he spend most of his life on death row regretting what he did as he aged? Probably.

Whether the Japanese like it or not, their system is archaic and needs a very serious reform after some vey serious investigation into how the law works in other first world nations.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

hanging as a capital punishment in 2017 sounds not much better than countries like saudi arabia. Can't they use injection? I assume the logistics would be also easier as you don't need that giant device.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe it's just me, but I don't have the same mind-set now at 50 that I did at 19

It's not just you, it's humanity. The logic centers of our brains aren't fully developed until we are around 25. This combined with the lack of experience in life, means that while a 19 year old can understand that what they are doing is wrong, and therefore deserves punishment, they are not able to see the full picture nor reason it out, as well as a fully developed person who has a good bit of life experience behind them. This is why civilized countries have a criminal code that is different for minors, so that they can be given a chance to live their life without being forever burdened with the mistakes they made at a time when they were literally incapable of fully understanding the consequences of their actions.

This doesn't mean that minors should be unpunished for their crimes; if they are able to differentiate right from wrong, then their actions are criminal. But there is a reason why we treat child criminals differently from adults.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Death Penalty should only be reserved for the most terrible of crimes for which even incarceration would do no good (i.e. they'd even be a threat to the other inmates, and staffers alike).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I say hang them all. Good ridence and I hope they rot in hell.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@EvilMonkey Some people change in the prison. I witnessed it while serving as a guard there. Incarceration could be harsh enough to make inmates think differently and that is why it is being used as punishment.

I have a question. What if the victim of murder doesn't have any family or relatives to whom authority can contact?(homeless, street people, gangs, etc) Who is going to make a decision?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Nerakai I don't doubt that some people can change in prison, and I'm sure that it's harsh. Perhaps a few people can manage to change themselves, but data shows the recidivism approaches 80% so the overwhelming majority of those imprisoned never experience an appreciable shift in their moral compass.

To answer your question though, if there is no surviving family (although I think that's not very common and being used as a red herring) then life in prison without the possibility of parole should be the sentence. Again, if the family of the victim wants to spare the murderer's life in exchange for life in prison with no chance of parole, I think that's acceptable as well and it's not up to me to intervene.

However, in the case of a murderer of children I think the death penalty should still be applied. Someone willing to prey on society's most vulnerable (children) can never be reformed and can still be a risk to other children even if paroled at 70.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A minor is less able to judge things than adults and easily affected by family and social circumstances. It is not appropriate to put responsibilities on individual minors and they should not be executed,

What a ridiculous argument! So if he was a year older, he would have been able to make better decisions? What utter non-sense! If a 19 year old is old enough to vote, he should know better not to kill a whole family. My 10 year old even knows that killing people is a bad thing!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have no problem with the death penalty for really serious evil crimes, but I would worry about Japans track record of forced confessions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the point is justice, then the death penalty is the perfect justice for murder. This is just basic common sense. If I steal a dollar, justice is for me to give the dollar back, plus the extra cost it took to make me give it. Deterrents are separate matters.

The murderers took the lives of 7 people, and therefore gave up their lives in return. 2 for the lives of 7 is, admittedly, less justice than the victims deserve, but it’s the best thet’re going to get.

All the arguments about how people change, how 19 isn’t 20, and how “barbaric” the death penalty is, really aren’t arguments about how to get justice for someone murdered, they’re just platitudes to make people feel better. Basically, they’re to distract people from the fact that some members of society are monsters who are capable of killing without reason and we will never understand why.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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