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Japanese public skeptical on death penalty: study

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Very interested to read the 2009 Government poll. 86% is obviously a faulty reading and one would be suspicious of the methodology, or even the actual results given the nature of Japanese government. And how very different when an actual criminologist makes a valid survey. 46% in support falling to 36% after explanation of legitimate concerns seems far more believable. One can only hope that Japan moves towards the stance taken by enlightened and humane countries who have removed this unnecessary, irrational and ethically bankrupt anachronism.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Japanese public skeptical on death penalty? They should also be embarrassed and revolted that it's practiced here.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Lies, damn lies, and statistics... In 2009 86% supported the death penalty? Maybe, maybe not, depending on how you ask the question. On the other hand, "the public is asked to make an informed choice on the death penalty," that's rigging it the other way. You "inform" the respondents about "the cruelty and inhumanity of the death penalty" and then you ask whether they support it? No way they will say to your face they support it.

Some people have their clear opinion , but many people here don't think much about the death penalty. They start thinking when they are approached and asked a question. How you frame the question will largely influence the answer. You can't give a real explanation in 15 minutes on the deterrence power (or its lack), on the mental state of the sentenced, on the desire of the public for "justice", on the feelings of the families of the victims, on the need of the public to feel that the justice is done - it's too deep to cover in 15 min. In the limited time the "information" becomes "persuasion," either way you may go.

You want the real informed answers? Bring the topic to TV, to schools, to daily newspapers, show those people BEFORE the crime, explain what really happened on the scene, show how they were interrogated, show how they live in the prison, show how the families of the victims feel, show how the people from the neighborhoods feel: and then you can talk about "informed decision."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Rights groups say it is barbaric

It goes without saying that society would be much better without the types of deranged criminals who are given the death penalty. Also, on a personal level I shed no tears when those criminals are executed, and even feel a primal sense of satisfaction that a sort of revenge has been carried out.

Still, I would argue that the issue of whether or not citizens should embrace the death penalty boils down to whether it makes us, as a whole, more civil or more barbaric. The answer is clearly that it makes society more barbaric and fuels a lynch-mob mentality. That said, I fully support the death penalty in those very rare cases where a criminal's very existence could result in further horrific crime, such as a cult leader who could influence followers if alive.

As a final word, if Japan were to abolish the death penalty in the name of bringing about a more civil society, I hope that would encourage the U.S. and other nations to follow suit.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

On the other hand, "the public is asked to make an informed choice on the death penalty," that's rigging it the other way. You "inform" the respondents about "the cruelty and inhumanity of the death penalty" and then you ask whether they support it? No way they will say to your face they support it.

To get around this, you can provide a control group who is not informed, to compare against, so that you can have an idea of how much the information affected the control group. If only they had done that with this study.

Oh, wait.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Rights groups say it is barbaric

The same can be said for all of Japan's "justice" system. Guilty until proven otherwise and that's only what, 1% of the time? In an obviously flawed system it must be asked how many executed people were actually innocent?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Those in the Japanese government always talk as though all Japanese support the death penalty, which is certainly not the case.

In fact, the main supporters of the death penalty are the politicians. They like it because it gives them the ability to "play god" and to exert control over the population. The death penalty is loved by despots everywhere as it allows them to murder their opponents. Not too long ago this was happening in Japan. Prime minister Abe longs for a return to those days, he longs to wield the power of life and death over those who oppose him and drools at the thought of a resurgent Japanese military advancing once again through Asia, slaughtering any opposition. This is why the Japanese government, increasingly controlled by people like Abe, resists the abolition of the death penalty, no matter what public opinion may be.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Awrsom post scrote, despots that is politics in Japan one old despot after another.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

inmates ... are only told of their impending hanging a few hours in advance.

That's old school.

`@Sensato

and even feel a primal sense of satisfaction that a sort of revenge has been carried out.

Still, I would argue that the issue of whether or not citizens should embrace the death penalty boils down to whether it makes us, as a whole, more civil or more barbaric.

That's the meat of it isn't it? Does it bring the state down to the level of the criminal and is that acceptable? The other concerns I suppose would be, Is it an effective deterrent to crime? And also is it punishment or revenge?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Capital punishment is a pretty tough issue. We want to pluck the obvious "bad weeds" of society but we want to make sure that they are the "bad weeds."

I think that Capital punishment should only be used for extreme cases such as murder and repeat offenders of crimes like rape, and intent to kill offenses and they must have indisputable evidence. It must be a case by case basis. I'm not sure how Japanese law works but a review of a jury of their peers would be nice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Admittedly, Japan does have lower murder rate than some other countries, but that is not to say it doesn't happen here. The fact that murders continue to happen just proves that the death penalty is not a deterrent. In many cases, it actually causes murders. Many Japanese murderers have confessed they killed people to get the death penalty. The death penalty is always defended as a way for the family of the victims to achieve some sort of closing, which makes it a revenge killing, doesn't it? Death is a release, not a punishment! Letting the scum rot in a prison for the rest of their lives is a much more fitting punishment. Yeah, it costs tax payers money, but it is punishment!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I think it may also have to do with the age group of the people surveyed. Must've been mostly elders. The younger Japanese always seem to be more with the times. Japan, with a sizeable elderly population is set for exciting times ahead, when the young are good to "take over" ....... at least I hope so.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Japanese too easily accept the death penalty. Japan is becoming a society desensitized to violent death. The easy acceptance of state- sanctioned killing should be considered one marker along that regressive path. Every cloud has a silver lining.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Nobody except families of murder victims should have any saying in this matter.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

86% is obviously a faulty reading and one would be suspicious of the methodology, or even the actual results given the nature of Japanese government. And how very different when an actual criminologist makes a valid survey. 46% in support falling to 36% after explanation of legitimate concerns seems far more believable.

@Jaymann: The article is not terribly clear, but the pool of people the researcher used only had 50% in favour to start with ("equal groups"). Basically you need to double the percentages. After the explanations, 72% of those originally in favour of the death penalty still supported it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The death penalty should never be allowed by any society.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

A barbaric society gives death. A civilized society gives life.

5 ( +6 / -2 )

ebisen

Nobody except families of murder victims should have any saying in this matter.

I hope you're joking. That would be the LAST group of people who should have ANY say on this issue, that is, if a rational and objective debate on the morality, effectiveness, etc. of capital punishment is your goal.

5 ( +5 / -1 )

The research comes amid continued pressure from rights groups who say Japan should join most other advanced economies in abolishing the practice.

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Is this rights group or right group??? In USA, some states have death penalty, some do'nt..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'll repeat myself, to make it more understandable: Nobody except families of murder victims should have any saying in this matter.

You think you are against death penalty, but how to you know? I bet your opinion will quickly change as soon as someone very close to you is savagely raped and murdered... (not that I wish anyone this)...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

ebisen

You couldn't be more wrong. Families of murder victims should never have a say in whether the perpetrator should get the death penalty. The same applies to relatives or victims of any crime, for that matter. Anyone suffering such a loss is in an irrational state of mind. I would be, too. That's why the law exists.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I disagree - none of us is in the position to discuss the death penalty until we are placed in certain situations. Until then, our opinions don't really matter, and are just empty words, with no value or weight...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ebisen: you wrote: none of us is in the position to discuss the death penalty until we are placed in certain situations.

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experienced judges and jurors (if it went to Jury trials) give final verdict. Verdicts are not given by amateurs or family. If family has to decide, they have to attend to law school to learn legal jargons and get law license . The family of victims can not be as effective as prosecution attorneys who have been prosecuting criminals (experienced). People can state opinion on pro or con death penalty if they want. But final judgement was done within legas procedure, not by amateurs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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