crime

Groups criticize Japan for carrying out executions

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Good for them. It would have cost more to house 3 murderers than to execute them, anyway. If the only crime deterrence is "oh, we're going to put you in this cell for a few years, then you're free to do whatever," it's no wonder crime rates are so high in many countries.

Pro-Capital Punishment, here.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

unapologetic government minister? who? Justice Minister, why he has to apologize and to whom? answer to all these questions is that 85% support capital punishment.

1 ( +9 / -9 )

Good morning, Japan! The land where everything, even the established law is criticized.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The death penalty is not carried out in any of the other 46 member states of the council of which Japan is a member which should be suspended from the council.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

The Council of Europe also stated,

"These executions show that Japan has decided to ignore our request and defy the international community by continuing to swim against the tide of the worldwide abolition trend."

4 ( +9 / -5 )

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations also protested, reiterating its calls to abolish the death penalty, saying it goes against global trends.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (why that's the sound of the sheep I think).

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

"it goes against global trends" - so you're saying social relativism justifies doing or not doing something? "If enough people do it, it must be okay"

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The Japan Federation of Bar Associations also protested, reiterating its calls to abolish the death penalty, saying it goes against global trends.

Hey wait a second! The U.S. are doing it and have the highest figure in the western world. I suggest Japan waits until the U.S. abandons the practice, then abolish the death penalty in line with global trends.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Japan should finally rid itself of this shameful practice for once and for all. It denigrates Japanese society that it has not managed to engineer a more appropriate punishment for these people, one that does not leave the Japanese public with blood on its hands. Murder is wrong. No matter who commits the murder - criminal individuals or the state. Their can be no excuse, no reason strong enough for a country to murder its citizens.

It is of great sadness to me that, having left a country that did away with its death penalty close to fifty years ago, I now live in a country where state sanctioned murder remains as popular as it ever was..

Shameful...

-5 ( +9 / -15 )

Seriously, if 'it's what everyone is doing' is the best argument European countries can come up with, Japan should just continue to ignore it. Europeans are becoming notorious for protecting the 'rights' of criminals over appropriately punishing crimes.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

You wouldn't know from the room's serene, peaceful appearance that this is where violent deaths occur. The Japanese way I guess.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Capital punishment is state sanctioned murder. Plain and simple.

It is morally unjustifyable for a society to use violence to punish violence. It instills the belief that violence is a solution to problems. And it demonstrates a clear contradiction in values by arguing that "you" cannot kill someone, but "I the state" can. It is irrational.

Finally, since court and law enforcement systems are flawed, e.g. the stream of people found to be innocent of crimes years after execution or decades in prison, then we cannot trust that system to apply perfect justice. Without perfect justice there is the significant risk that innocent people will be executed. And that alone should make capital punishment unthinkable. Once taken, a life cannot be returned. It is bad enough to rob an innocent person of years of life with imperfect justice, but it is unthinkable to rob one of life.

It is time for humanity to mature beyond this barbaric and immoral practice.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

let's keep it up, j-gov't. we need more, not less, executions in this world.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

I support the death panalty and it should be done sooner. There are many murderers who have been released after claiming they are innocent for decades. It's not that they are proved innocent but it is only resulting from it became difficult to prove them guilty. As time passes, people's memories become uncertain and investigation difficult. Death penalty was instituted to abolish "ada uchi" personal revenges which existed in the past and it was admired.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I'm surprised that 85% of Japanese supposedly support the death penalty; I wonder if 85% of Japanese have such faith in the criminal justice system? Maybe they just don't care.

Let's look at how the "justice" system in Japan operates: police and prosecutors falsify evidence and "lose" any evidence that might point to the innocence of a suspect. Police use long, unrecorded interrogations to obtain confessions in the absence of legal counsel. Prosecutors lie with impunity and innocent people languish in jail for years on the basis of these forced confessions. Even those sentenced to death, a punishment which you might expect would only be applied if there were irrefutable evidence of the perpetrator's guilt, have had their sentences quashed after many decades on death row. Given all this, how anybody can support the death penalty is a mystery to me.

Having the death penalty means that the Japanese state, personified by corrupt bureaucrats, murders innocent people in the name of "justice". It's a travesty of justice.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

In murder cases Japan has a 99% conviction rate which would make it one of the highest in the world. Is this because the police are able to collect so much DNA evidence backed up by witness accounts, Sadly, so frequently, the only evidence presented to the courts are forced confessions. The penal system does not include trial by jury although now there are lay judges.

In Europe, these cases with nothing more than forced convictions would never reach the courts. All the recent releases of inmates from death row involved the use of forced convictions. it has become such a wide scale problem that police are now required to record their interviews with suspects who are not allowed to have a lawyer present and can only have a lawyer once the police have finished their investigation and the suspect is charged.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I would like to know why everyone is complaining that they shouldn't be executed. If you knowingly and willingly kill someone; i.e. you took someone's right to live, why should you be allowed to keep your life? You are clearly a burden on society. I would rather spend the government money on taking away from you, the one right away from you that you so clearly disregarded from the person you murdered. Why should I pay to keep you alive, feed you, house you, and give you all the basic necessities to live, when you don't care for anyone else's? Why should I give my money to you, a cancer in society, when there are millions of other people in the world that don't have these things, AND they didn't kill anyone? What makes you a better receipient for my money than someone who is struggling and commits no crimes? The government should spend the money on better things; not people who don't respect human life, if you don't respect another individual's life, why should I respect yours?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Pro-Capital Punishment here as well.

Capital Punishment should not be used as a method of deterrent, That's plain stupid. Criminals will commit crimes pre-mediated or on impulse.

Capital Punishment should be used when you have 100% absolute evidence that the accused committed murder. And not this stupid rule of life imprisonment for 1 murder and eligibility for Capital Punishment when it's 2 or more murders. Who comes up with these stupid rules? Murder is murder. Plain and simple.

If criminals commit crimes and hurt / destroy the lives of others. Murder, Rape, torture of animals, violent robberies gone bad. These criminals should be punished in the exact same way.

You can allow people who "shop lift" and "write fraud checks" to go to prison and bring them back into society and give them another chance. Sure that's fine! They don't hurt anybody, maybe financially they hurt someone but no physical harm.

But for violent crimes there should be no seconds chances. Why? Because they have destroyed the lives of someone else. The least that can be done is that should pay with their own life.

This is still not enough justice because no matter what, it will never bring the victim back or heal the pain of the families, but it is the closest justice that can be given.

I don't get how some folks can say murderers should spend a bit of time inside and get back into society after serving time and try to be reformed. I just don't get how people come to that.

Murder is murder. You take another innocent persons life, pay with your own life and be done with. It's amazing how murderers who are convicted beyond any reasonable doubt are always filing appeals!

So they think it's okay to rob someone else's life yet they should have a second chance and live? Oh really.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

If there is absolutely no doubt that someone has committed a heinous crime, such as murder or mass-murder, then I support the death penalty. However, as zichi has justly pointed out, Japan has an impossibly high conviction rate of or around 99% (I have heard some Japanese people BOAST about this and how it supposedly 'attests' to how good the J-cops are - jeez, pass me the bucket, what a load of hogwash) and so this is the problem. How many convicts on death row in Japan are actually victims of forced convictions? This sounds like a good assignment for a moral freelance journalist (yes theys DO exist). Executing innocent people would make the government itself a murderer. Ah, if only Asahara were one of those executed yesterday.

I have heard that Australia did away with capital punishment in the 1970s because the last person to be executed was later found to be innocent.

Personally, I think Amnesty International should not be going after the judges but should be calling for an overhall of the J police system.

I have even heard that there are no laws against entrapment in Japan!!!! Is this true?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

If any of the posters who are swimming in their self-righteous ether about capital punishiment being state-sponsored murder consider the facts. Japan only executes criminals who have committed multiple murders and they are never sentenced to execution on circumstantial evidence. If any poster can show otherwise, please post examples. Of course they confess when confronted with overwhelming evidence of the crime -- its the Japanese way -- not like certain groups of people in the US who claim innocence even when there are witnesses and a video.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Tatanka

Sakae Menda, who was eventually released after 34 years on death row or the famous case of Hakamada who has been on death row for 42 years, is sister says he has gone mad. Even the one of the judges who gave him the death penalty has since stated many times that he's innocent.

Others have been released recently.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Tatanka: How about the case of Shoko Asahara? He has not committed any murders himself and was convicted largely on circumstantial evidence. He isn't dead yet, but he has been sentenced to death.

There's one example, there are many more if you care to look. Even in cases when there is "evidence", how do we know the police haven't planted it? They have done that before, so please don't say it's unthinkable. There are also cases where the prosecutors have altered evidence, or suppressed evidence that would prove a person's innocence.

Forced confessions are also a fact of the Japanese "justice" system: after you've been deprived of sleep for days, threatened and beaten you will confess to anything to get some peace.

Basically, I do not accept that the state has the right to murder people. If murder is wrong, it is wrong no matter who carries it out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Personally, I think Amnesty International should not be going after the judges but should be calling for an overhall of the J police system. I have even heard that there are no laws against entrapment in Japan!!!! Is this true?

Agreed. Your post really rang true with me. The problem in Japan isn't with the death penalty itself, but with the justice system's lack of 'due process'.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I guess I should point out that, my previous statements only hold true to the individuals who without a doubt are proven guilty. I didn't think that I would have to make that statement...I thought it was understood. To all those who may have misconstrued my comments, there is the disclaimer that apparently was necessary to be written...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The Death Penalty: Some can't live with it while all can live without it. As for myself it is a necessary deterrent.....What if the (地下鉄サリン事件, Chikatetsu Sarin Jiken?) in Tokyo had killed hundreds? In my distorted opinion if it was 13 or 70 that had died, a person with the desire to comment such a merciless attack deserves death. I have seen murdering pedophiles declared ready to enter society and released only to take away someone else's baby daughter and murder them. My friend was shot by another man who stood two feet away and pulled the trigger then did 3 years for it. I read that China has almost 5 times the population of the Untied States but has roughly 1 fifth of the crime rate. I am not saying we should all be like China but it seems that when it comes to a criminals actions a harsh reaction may be the best solution.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Amnesty International condemned the executions.. Nonsense.... criminals carefully trialed and found guilty punishable by death should be executed. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations also protested nonsense again. These executions show that Japan has decided to ignore ...Japan has all the rights to execute criminals found guilty. It's their country. a practice that has led to repeated protests from European governments and human rights groups why protest.... when China execute their criminals this organization lips are sealed. Why single out Japan. As for the Human Rights group? What about the RIGHTS of the victims murdered. Don't they have a right to live?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ zichi: you are citing a case from 1950. Legal practices of gathering evidence and interogation methods have vastly improved since then. @ Scote: Asahara was sentenced to die, but he will probably die of old age. Furthermore, only a complete moron would think he is innocent. He is a monster. He directed the killings of a lawyer, his wife and baby. He oversaw the manufacture of sarin gas and its use in Matsumoto and Tokyo subway. No "evidence" in this case was suppressed or covered up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I don't know how many innocent people are wrongfully convicted of murder in Japan but in the US it happens. since 1973 130 people have been exonerated after being convicted of murder and given a death sentence.A few have been posthumously pardoned also.. But a government will never admit to illegally murdering a citizen so the subject is seldom debated within the government or courts. False confessions,mistaken eyewitness accounts,incompetent lawyers,paid informants,and jail house snitches hoping for earlier release or other favors are all causes of false convictions. DNA test results have saved many from false convictions but testable DNA is not available from all crime scenes. The US and Japan have the distinction of being the only countries besides China,Saudi Arabia,Iran,Pakistan and Sudan that practice the execution of convicted criminals..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Tatanka,

I have never stated that all the inmates on death row are innocent and the three hanged yesterday look guilty of their crimes but like in all countries which have the death penalty there are some on death row who are not guilty and in Japan that usually involves cases where the main or only evidence is from forced confessions which is still being used in Japan. Men on America`s death row have been able to secure their release when given access to the DNA evidence. If a Japanese person was convicted 30 years ago but executed today but turns out he was innocent then it would still be a wrong.

Innocent people can be released from life in prison but how do you bring them back from execution?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So the top 3 economies of the world use the death penalty the U.S, China and Japan. I suppose all else should follow because these are the 3 foremost global economic leaders?

Fact of the matter is the death penalty makes it easier for the tax payer plain and simple move on.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

AiserX,

America is not united in using the death penalty and at least 18 States no longer have it. There are about 50 countries which still use the death penalty including 9 in Africa which execute people for being GAY. In Japan, the total number of inmates on death row is only about 130 and most will not be executed but will remain there until they die. The cost is higher for keeping an inmate on death row than in the general prison population.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They killed and terrorized and they should die...Minister Toshio Ogawa ありがとございまっす!!!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yet another example of how political correctness skews the truth. A murderer is a murderer, not one that needs to be cuddled and protected.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land

you didn`t notice from the post the Bar Association criticised the hangings and there are Diet members who are opposed to the death penalty. Some foreigners are born here, others have become permanent residents and made it their home and just their Japanese counterparts pay taxes.

There are many outspoken Japanese against the use of the death penalty.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As for many Japanese against the death penalty. What % qualifies as many? I suppose we could equally say many Japanese don't eat white rice.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

That world chart clearly needs more red.

I think the only problem here is waiting for years in solitary confinement.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That 'many' is, at most, about 15% of the general public (85% are for it, according to stats referenced in the initial article about the executions).

'Lies, damn lies and statistics' and all that but it's a bit stronger than an unsourced viewpoint.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

and why would any country need to heed what other country would say about that country? unless the people in that country doesn't want it, who are we to say other wise.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Tatanka: In the case of Asahara I believe he is guilty too, but the evidence is circumstantial, mostly consisting of "he told me to do it" statements made by those trying to save their own skins. Your earlier statement that "criminals are never sentenced to execution on circumstantial evidence" is incorrect: in Japan circumstantial evidence certainly will get you convicted and sentenced to death.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hokey justice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have as many concerns about the conditions on death row as I do about the actual death penalty. The majority of the inmates who have been there longer than 20 years are no longer mental fit to be executed, not that would prevent it from happening. If the inmates don`t follow the orders and procedures to the letter they can find themselves in a tight leather belt which binds their hands and prevents them from using the toilet or having to eat their meals dog fashion. Death row is open to regular inspections. For those who only concern is the cost of keeping inmates on death row, it would cost far less if they were put in general prisons.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan's death row inmates should be sent to the countries where they think they should not be dealt with under Japanese law. Put them into those societies or their prisons then all will be happy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Death Penalty: Some can't live with it while all can live without it. As for myself it is a necessary deterrent.

Ah, the old deterrent chestnut. I wondered when somebody would trot that out. Well, if it was much of a deterrent we wouldn't have any murders, would we...?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What this comes down to is do you want justice or revenge? You can't have both and what you have at the moment certainly insn't justice...so it must be revenge. Revenge is not civilized and therefore Japan is currently not civilized.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Whether or not you are a supporter of the death penalty (for the record I am not) there should be groups criticising any executions that take place. If the government and the people feel it necessary to carry out this punishment, individuals and groups should be questioning the legitimacy of said execution, how and when it is carried out and whether or not the prisoner deserved it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The death penalty is proven to be... NOT a deterrent. I'm not sure how the costs rack up in Japan, but in America the death penalty is... get ready for this one... MORE EXPENSIVE than life in prison.

It's barbaric, and it's a dated practice. It has to go, Japan. You too, America.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

well done japan. you commit the crime.you pay the price. tough justice. this is what we need in my country. new zealand. the death penalty is not a deterrent. it is a penalty.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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