crime

Man nears half-century on Japan death row

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© 2013 AFP

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They're not even going to bother now, are they, they'll just wait for him to die.

What an inefficient, inhumane and immoral 'justice' system.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Japanese justice is a joke in general.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

Don’t really see the point now. It seems he is going insane from the continued incarceration and isolation. Doubt he would even know what’s going on by now anyway. The only people who would benefit from a new trial would be the family and the judicial system (so they can say "oh look at us we got him out"). This man has been imprisoned for nearly 50 years for a crime he may not have done....well. Sounds like stories all over the world. Japan isn’t the only one. Judicial systems around the world are a joke. My heart goes out to his sister who has had to sit by and watch his life crumble around him and go through the thought that he could be a child killer. I hope for all involved they can find peace at the end of all this mess.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's much much cheaper in court and legal cost with bogus confession. Japan is doing exceptional job having 99 percent conviction rate with majority of confessions that had been entirely fabricated after the accused go through marathon of questioning and how far the authorities will go in securing confessions. The Japanese authorities have long relied on confessions to bring suspects to court, instead of building cases based on solid evidence. I guess Japan wants to keep up with China's conviction rate.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Just jinxed him, no?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

For a crime he didn't do and even the judge who sentenced him has said he's innocent.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I once read that Japan's conviction rate is 99.98%. It means that the system is working. On the other hand, if the conviction rate was 80%, it would mean that 20% of the people indicted were found not guilty. I sure wouldn't want to put that many innocent people on trial. (For 2011, the US Department of Justice reported a 93% conviction rate in US Federal Courts.)

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Japan seriously needs to improve its laws.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Oh look, judging from the third photo the gallows has a nice big AC unit installed so at least the falsely condemned can die in comfort. How humane of them...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Prosecutors say the testing method was faulty and stand by his conviction."

And how often do prosecutors NOT stand by their conviction?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The only cruel act in this whole thing are the murders of innocent people by these murderers.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

the murders of innocent people by these murderers.

Or the murder by OTHER murderers ?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've always been against the death penalty, but this is a very bizarre situation. Don't even really know what to say. If the man was sentenced to die, why is he still on death row? Then if they don't execute him, then just give him life. Either someone dropped the ball, didn't care about following up with the justice and legal system or they just want to mentally mess with the guy? Again, this just off the wall strange.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The reason why Hakamada was never executed is because all of the 50 or so Justice Ministers since 1980 believes this man is not guilty. (Hakamada's death sentence was finalized back in 1980 by the Japanese Supreme Court).).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Japan is very advanced country in the human rights. Why you laughing? Shut up! SHUT UP!"

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I only want to hear that single world,” she said.

Typo?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

hammereddownnailJul. 04, 2013 - 09:52AM JST "Japan is very advanced country in the human rights. Why you laughing? Shut up! SHUT UP!"

You made my day !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@TumbleDry. It's not a joke... I would say its a disgrace on a globule scale!!! Jokes are normally funny there is nothing funny about the Japanese justice system... It's a biased system that favors the Japanese police and the prosecutors. Defendants very rarely ever get to see the evidence that is brought to face them in a court until it's too late by the time the judges have already heard with the prosecutors and the police want them to hear the defense attorney has no recourse really but to sit back and say, I'm sorry there's nothing I can do... It's better that you say I'm guilty of the crime and get a lighter sentence.... This is not justice it is unfair and quite frankly the disgrace!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@KariHaruka

The only cruel act in this whole thing are the murders of innocent people by these murderers.

I'm going to try to explain it simply to you Kari. (1) Murder = bad (2) Death penalty/life imprisonment of an innocent person = also bad

(I have no idea if (2) is the true here, but try to think a little deeper than (1) sometime)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

this mans not guilty

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@CrazyJoe

I once read that Japan's conviction rate is 99.98%. It means that the system is working.

No - it essentially means that the trial itself is (99.98%) irrelevant. It means that it is actually the proceedings prior to a trial that decide whether you are guilty or innocent. This includes 20+ days of forced detention, without a lawyer present, with no recording of what went on, and with frequent forced confessions, which alone can be used as a basis for conviction.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Harikaruki,

If someone is innocent then they aren`t murderers. Japan has an "Injustice System" not a "Justice System." Goes to show you how cold and inhumane the bureaucratic suits can be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@KariHaruki that is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well I'd prefer living in a country that treats murderers and rapists inhumanely than one where murderers and rapists are given a chance for a normal life.

Just ask any of the victims, they'd agree.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

The tests found no match between Hakamada’s DNA and samples taken from ill-fitting clothing he is alleged to have worn at the time of the crime, casting more doubt on his guilt, say supporters, including the Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

Reopen this case for DNA . That's all they need to do for him. If DNA does not fit, then acquit!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

cruel and unusual punishment

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Torture the innocent families; The best 'way' & our 'culture' Thank you. Closed room confessions and no jury trials, that too. After 50 years 'death' would have been kind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But once police suspect you for a crime, that’s the end of the story. It was like that back then, it is like that now,” his sister said.

Aint THAT the truth!!!

As I have been saying for decades, IF you even remotely think your in trouble with the cops, LEAVE the country ASAP, innocence has NOTHING to do with what cops & prosecutors WILL do to you if they DECIDE your guilty, done deal!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan's ""justice system"" the envy of dictators worldwide!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

dcopg9065

...one where murderers and rapists are given a chance for a normal life.

Um, you didn't know that that's what the prison system is supposed do? Rehabilitation?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@USNinJapan2 : Nah, it's supposed to keep criminals off the streets, that's what we pay our taxes for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dcog9065

And how's that system working so far? I'd say your taxes are being wasted if 1/10 of your adult population is incarcerated with 50+% of them returning to jail within three years of release. That's an effective system indeed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@USNinJapan2 : 1/10 of the adult population is incarcerated? Where's that?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Sakae Menda was released from death row after a retrial. He spent 44 years there. He was sentenced to death in 1949 and released in 1983. - Shigeyoshi Taniguchi and Yukio Saito were released from death row in 1984. - Masao Akahori was released in 1984.

Iwao Hakamada was convicted to death based on nothing more than a forced confession, and if I remember correctly, a pair of trousers with the victims blood but they were too big for him to have actually worn. Probably planted by the real killer?

There are many guilty inmates on death row but how many of them are innocent?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As I have been saying for decades, IF you even remotely think your in trouble with the cops, LEAVE the country ASAP, innocence has NOTHING to do with what cops & prosecutors WILL do to you if they DECIDE your guilty, done deal!

This is very true! I always have my passport and a small pack of 'essentials' ready precisely for the above type of scenario. There's no way in hell the I'd trust the Japanse (in)justice system.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

As I have been saying for decades, IF you even remotely think your in trouble with the cops, LEAVE the country ASAP, innocence has NOTHING to do with what cops & prosecutors WILL do to you if they DECIDE your guilty, done deal!

This is very true! I always have my passport and a small pack of 'essentials' ready precisely for the above type of scenario. There's no way in hell the I'd trust the Japanse (in)justice system.

Except, if you are already in the hands of the cops, you won't be going anywhere. If you are charged with a major crime you won't even make it through passport.

The release of those death row inmates in the 1980's turned out to be a major embassment to the Ministry of Justice, and the public prosecutors office, that no more inmates have been released since, and unlikely to happen again any time soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

dcog9065

1/10 of the adult population is incarcerated? Where's that?

Obviously the U.S. I had assumed (evidently mistakenly) that you were American, but I am surprised to see an Aussie who's for capital punishment. I'm also surprised that you don't want any of your incarcerated citizens rehabilitated and improved while they're behind bars so that when they are inevitably released and do rejoin society they don't make the same mistakes that landed them in jail before and instead can hopefully contribute to society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting that no officials have signed off on the sentence, yet none has fought to overturn it either. It suggests they may suspect the man is innocent but they will not challenge the police's assumption that he's guilty or the kangaroo courts that rubber stamped it. No rocking the apple cart or the whole lot will come crashing down huh?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

dcog9065 wrote "Just ask any of the victims, they'd agree [that they'd prefer living in a country that treats murderers and rapists inhumanely]."

You're assuming an awful lot there. Some people, even if victimized, are wiser and more humane than you obviously are. The reason most murderers and rapists did what they did is because they were treated inhumanely to begin with. Intensifying the vicious circle doesn't fix anything - and shouldn't satisfy anyone.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good the this system here isn't from the middle ages!

Why you laugh? Why you laughing?? Shut up!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If I'm ever accused of a crime that I know I did not commit, I would fight to my last breath. No running away. If it means death, so be it but I will not give in to something I did not commit. That is the American way! Peace out!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The punishment to keep a man on death row for so long is inhumane. Irrespective of the fact the man was guilty or not, how can those who convicted him sleep at night when their minds linger over this case for only a moment?

Current justice minister Sadakazu Tanigaki says capital punishment is necessary to satisfy public demands that violent crime be punished severely.

If it is, and where are the data, this nation is a vengeful one, and it seems to me Hakamada has served more than he was sentenced to, living in fear for almost 50 years. Shame, shame.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If he is guilty, one could argue that this Japanese-style torturous punishment is worse than death.

If he is innocent, shame on those who put him in prison.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This case just highlights the absurdity of the death penalty.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No country's laws are perfect, but I have to say that when I visited Japan I felt really safe there. Seems like the system works, in the end.

Just for the record, I am not against death penalty. But, I think that making a person who is sentenced to death sit in prison for so many years is a waste of tax money. The main reason I suport death penalty (and I'm European) is that feeding and caring for (sometimes for 50-60 years) prisoners who don't work and don't contribute to society in any way is damn expensive. Of course we have to make sure that innocent people don't go to prison (getting death penalty or not, sucks either way), but "what if an innocent person is killed" isn't strong enough argument against death penalty, at least for me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Suiren-tan

but "what if an innocent person is killed" isn't strong enough argument against death penalty, at least for me.

It should be. You would advocate a justice system that is designed to administer irreversible injustice? If it were you with the noose around your neck about to die for a crime you didn't commit you would say, "Oh well, at least the system works, most of the time."?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If his DNA didnt match why is he in jail? and why arent the citizens of the country fighting for him?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You're assuming an awful lot there. Some people, even if victimized, are wiser and more humane than you obviously are. The reason most murderers and rapists did what they did is because they were treated inhumanely to begin with. Intensifying the vicious circle doesn't fix anything - and shouldn't satisfy anyone.

@tripbeetle : Look who's the one assuming. But yeah I do agree with you, hopefully the US can catch up to the "wise and humane" world, although I doubt it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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