crime

Court rejects retrial for man on death row over 1961 killings

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My God. 40 years in solitary confinement, death sentence hanging over his head, all on the basis of a forced confession, and it turns out he might be innocent? Which means the real killer has also got away with it scot-free all these years?

Something is very wrong with this justice system.

Are they now recording all interrogations, or is it still just a sample?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Just one of the many reasons I don't support capital punishment.

I also think the way inmates are kept and treated on death row is a cruel and unnecessary punishment.

Decades of solaitary confinement reduces most of them to insanity and in many countries could no longer be executed.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

United States, Japan is the only major industrialised democracy to carry out capital punishment

Remove "major industrialised democracy" and you will find that country count is much higher.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

why is it important to say that japan is a "major industrialized" country that supports capital punishment? does that imply that less developed countries are savages and less civilized, so it's ok if they support the death penalty?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So the guy has been on death row for 40 years. Every day for those 40 years his life could have ended at any minute. Imagine the psychological effect on the man. I`ve got no idea if he is guilty or innocent but I do think it is extremely inhumane to hold him like that for so long.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Remove "major industrialised democracy" and you will find that country count is much higher.

58 countries have capital punishment but only 23 actively use it - some haven't used it for over 10 years. Israel has the death penalty for only one crime: being a Nazi convicted of a crime against humanity. Only one person has ever been executed under that law.

One reason for countries that have banned the death penalty is just this type of case. Evidence hidden by the prosecutors is revealed to support the convict's innocence. Or a false confession. China, who executes criminals within 24 hours of conviction, executed about 5000 people last year. All were definitely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, guilty? And not politically railroaded?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

does that imply that less developed countries are savages and less civilized, so it's ok if they support the death penalty?

So you would be happier it the U.S. and and Japan clearly place hand in hand with Saudi Arabia and Iran?

It think some of you should be more careful what you wish for. But hey, I am more than happy to give you guys enough rope to hang your darned selves.

Just another fine example of how pro-death advocates don't think things through very well.

I am not surprised Okunishi got convicted for the crime. I am surprised he was given the death penalty without much better evidence of his guilt. Again, just not thinking things through very well.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

why is it important to say that japan is a "major industrialized" country that supports capital punishment? does that imply that less developed countries are savages and less civilized, so it's ok if they support the death penalty?

Democracy and the death penalty don't seem to mix well.

2 ( +2 / -1 )

The fact that he hasn't been executed means that a succession of Justice Ministers has believed he is not guilty.

Its more likely they just harbored some doubt and did not want to take the chance of having that stain on their record when it was safer to just do nothing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan and the U.S are not the only major industrial countries with the D..P. Singapore , Taiwan and S.Korea are up there as well. The death penalty is a proper form of punishment for heinous crimes.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

The death penalty is a proper form of punishment for heinous crimes.

And what about being wrongly convicted for 'heinous crimes'? Is the death penalty the proper for of punishment for that?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's important to note that not all states in the U.S. have capital punishment. 15 states do not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_United_States#cite_note-19

0 ( +0 / -0 )

During the time of the Black Codes of the 1950's (Jim Crow Laws, separate but equal ) in the US, a black man was put on death row for ogling a white female. There have been numerous cases of wrongful imprisonment were a person was convicted of a crime (usually murder) and later found to be the wrong person.

Sometimes justice is not to swift.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The death penalty is hypocritical... not even the government has the right to take away the life of another.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There seems to be significant question about the evidence of the case. His would not be the first of coerced "confessions" that contributed to incarceration or execution of an innocent person. The difference between this and OBL et. al. is that the evidence of this case is not shrouded under the cloak of "National Security" or "State Secrets". When either of those two phrases are invoked, the public(and the judiciary) are expected to blindly acquiesce and meekly defer to authorities.

In this man's case, evidence was shown that the victims died from different poisons. Could the prosecution have hidden, altered, or otherwise tainted the evidence. That remains a real possibility.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I won't bother stating my opinion on the death penalty.

40 years of solitary confinement seem just a little bit too much. And expensive, the guy has to eat, uses electricity... How about hard labor instead?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I hope to god that Japan never goes back and checks "evidence" in cases because I fear they'll find at least 10% of those incarcerated or in receipt of state sanctioned murder were innocent. The fact that everyone widly knows that the "justice system" in Japan is corrupt, prosecutors tampering with evidence and police forcing confessions being common practise, it is possible that many are convicted with little or no evidence. I hope this old man is given a new and fair trial, but I suspect they're just waiting for him to pass away quietly in his solitary confinement cell.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

its a 40 year case. and he did confess. he had motive. no other suspects so tough case.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

4 decades in solitary confinement.... ouch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Capital Punishment is a wrong as the crime itself .

"Once Okunishi was arrested the villagers immediately turned against Okunishi. It is alleged that the villagers soon started spreading rumors against Okunishi suggesting his guilt and wanted Okunishi to be punished at the earliest."

http://www.murderpedia.org/male.O/o/okunishi-masaru.htm

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Considering the over zealous nature of the cops and prosecutors in this country, i.e. forced confessions, blatantly fabricating/making up "evidence", subsequently resulting in wrongful convictions, one would suspect the review of all death row cases. Perhaps the authorities are praying that this fellow, being 86, will drop dead any moment and they can close the case. Somehow I hope he did what he is accused of, for nothing in the world would suffice as compensation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

too true forzaducati , you remember the Toshikazu Sugaya case

0 ( +0 / -0 )

VespertoMay. 25, 2012 - 11:54AM JST I won't bother stating my opinion on the death penalty. 40 years of solitary confinement seem just a little bit too much. And expensive, the guy has to eat, uses electricity... How about hard labor instead?

... umm.. this guy seems to be innocent, and you want him to get hard labor? I think going free would be a better suggestion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is an isane situation. 40 years? is that a guiness record?

Capital punishment is a harsh punishment, but a question to those who oppose it. What do we do with the criminal. Some people are just insane or crazy and cannot be rehabilitated. For others it's a sickness. in over populated cities towns and countries. over crowding in prisons.

not saying i support it but just what is the alternative.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

not saying i support it but just what is the alternative.

You seem to be saying people should be put down for the sake of convenience. If prisons are overcrowded, build more prisons so that people duly convicted can serve their sentence in civilised conditions. Better still, if prisons are overcrowded find out what it is in that particular country that causes it to produce so many insane, crazy people who cannot be rehabilitated. And fix that at source.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All inmates on death row are kept in solitary confinement from the day they arrive, until the day they're executed. It wasn't always like that. Previously, inmates were allowed limited association with fellow inmates including being able to plat table tennis but some years ago it was changed.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Whether this guy is guilty or not waiting this long is some seriously sick crap! Even most dictators wudnt do that!

And with the notoroious FORCED confessions & a near 100% conviction rate, if I was to bet I wud bet at least 50% of the cases have some VERY SERIOUS ISSUES, this is so way beyond messed up!

So I will trot out my usual advice, if you even think the authorities are looking at you a bit funny you had better catch a plane outta here because chances for fair trials in Japan its pretty much a no chance in hell situation

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Apparently there is no material proof and his conviction relied only on confession (which can easily be extorted). This should have been a no-brainer: you cannot convict somebody to an irreversible sentence if you cannot even prove with material facts he's guilty.

I am against the death penalty for moral reasons (I don't give any government the right to decide on the right to live), but I think this the best argument against it (because the moral issue is not a problem for many people): death penalty is the only definitive sentence, as it cannot be reversed once done. Knowing that no human institution is perfect, there is always the risk to kill an innocent without any chance for any repair.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh boo hoo. Hey liberal posters, what about the women he killed, who died a terrible death. Of course he did it, why else would poison be put in wine unless it was a targeted kill. Of course there was collateral damage. The reason why he (the curry killer and Shoko Asahara) sit on death row but will not hanged is because circumstantial evidence is not enough to get the noose around your neck -- so they will sit there until they die of natural causes...

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

TatankaMay. 25, 2012 - 03:23PM JST Oh boo hoo. Hey liberal posters, what about the women he killed, who died a terrible death. Of course he did it, why else would poison be put in wine unless it was a targeted kill

... and of course he was the only person in the entire village with a reason to want any of those women dead? Can't you see that you're making a MASSIVE number of assumptions in order to substantiate your just world hypothesis?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Oh boo hoo. Hey liberal posters, what about the women he killed, who died a terrible death

Oh right, the notion that one should receive a fair trial is a liberal concept. All those constitutional framers were all liberals then?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

i'm for the death penalty, and the best argument I can make for it is that some scum don't deserve to live.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

i'm for the death penalty, and the best argument I can make for it is that some scum don't deserve to live.

Says who? You're not God... Saying who deserves to live and die is really iffy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

rickyvee,

i'm for the death penalty, and the best argument I can make for it is that some scum don't deserve to live.

That puts you in the minority group.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No one should be given the death penalty if the only evidence presented in court is a confession (forced). What about "without doubt?"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Agreed, Zichy. But I'd go further. If the only evidence is a confession, no one should even be convicted.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Once again the liberal posters are too busy swimming in their self-righteous (anti-death penalty) ether to consider that this guy is guilty and his original confession was sufficient motive to commit such a heinous crime. Do you think the police were that incompetent not to interview everyone and their dogs in that town to discover a motive for the attack. Hey, farmer Mori just threw some insecticide in the white wine at a town gathering for the fun of it...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

the liberal posters are too busy swimming in their self-righteous (anti-death penalty) ether to consider that this guy is guilty and his original confession was sufficient motive to commit such a heinous crime.

in 1964 the Tsu District Court acquitted Okunishi, citing a lack of evidence.

Looks like his original confession was not sufficient to convict him.

The man was acquitted, yet still ended up spending 40 years on Death Row?? And people defend this??

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Tatanka

Do you think the police were that incompetent not to interview everyone and their dogs in that town .....

I wonder what the dogs were able to tell the police. Were their statements read out in court.

If his man was guilty of the crime, without doubt, how come he hasn't been executed?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tatanka May. 25, 2012 - 04:50PM JST Once again the liberal posters are too busy swimming in their self-righteous (anti-death penalty) ether to consider that this guy is guilty and his original confession was sufficient motive to commit such a heinous crime. Do you think the police were that incompetent not to interview everyone and their dogs in that town to discover a motive for the attack. Hey, farmer Mori just threw some insecticide in the white wine at a town gathering for the fun of it...

Just for the record I'm not anti-death penalty, I totally support it. I personally think it's LESS cruel to execute someone than to keep them in solitary for 40 years.

Now while I'm pro-death penalty I also think that it should have a higher standard of proof than regular penalties. I don't think that a confession without physical evidence is sufficient for even a STANDARD conviction (back home I was a shrink and the cops used to call me down regularly because there was a guy who kept coming down to confess to random crimes he'd read about in the newspaper - he wasn't guilty, just mentally ill and a bit of a nuisance but no harm to anyone). For the death penalty I'd expect to see at least conclusive physical evidence plus solid eye witness testimony.

... and consider this Tatanka, in Japan that mentally ill guy who like confessing to random crimes would be on death row right now, because the Japanese cops DO suck. I don't need any proof more convincing than the fact that they would consider his confession valid, without the brains to call a shrink.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is the seventh petition for retrial for Okunishi, filed in 2002. The key new evidence for this petition is a testing result by a chemist. The result concluded that the pesticide in the wine that the victims drank was not “Nikkarin-T”, the chemical with which Okunishi confessed he poisoned the wine.

For more on this case, http://wrongfulconvictionsblog.org/2012/05/25/high-court-rejects-request-for-retrial-in-nabari-case/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Justice, 40 years solitary? That's enough to scatter most minds...death penalty or no, 40 years on a cofession obtained under dubious process is not justice. 2012 and videos of interviews are not mandatory because the system wants to maintain it's 99.9% conviction rate. Guilty or not it's debatable until the system becomes a professional one.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

By my calculations, 1961 to 2012 is 51 years. If he had been sentenced to life imprisonment, he would have been out decades ago. so he not only gets a double life imprisonment sentence, he also gets to swing!? Is that next clatter of keys in his cell door his daily riceball, or the hangman?

Cruel and unusual punishment? Unbelievable. Guilty or not, hasn't he paid for it?

Shame on you Japan

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan really needs to change their bizarre way of forcing confessions out of people and putting them on death rows. Japanese cops are known to be corrupt as hell.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

40 years solitary on evidence still being contested is inhumane, even without clear evidence. Shame on Japanese justice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"40 years on death row"

This is ridiculous, do the prosecutors not have irrefutable evidence that this guy killed 5 people?

If not, they should have let him go whilst keeping an eye on him until proven innocent. If so, he should have been executed immediately. Taxpayers should not have been forced to pay for all of his living expenses all these years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But what if he is guilty of those murders? Would any of you feel sympathy for him then? True he might not of done them but heres the thing. He had motive and there is no evidence to suggest that anyone else would of wanted to kill both his wife and mistress.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But what if he is guilty of those murders?

He was acquitted first time round. In any country with real double jeopardy laws he would have been a free man for the past 48 years.

True he might not of done them but heres the thing. He had motive

If there is reasonable doubt, there should be no argument at all in favour of the death penalty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wasn't so long ago that every Japanese I knew boasted about the great conviction rate and attributed it to the superbly thorough work of the police force. So many things in Japan are crumbling now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Capital punishment is okay for people like Ted Bundy and BTK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You seem to be saying people should be put down for the sake of convenience. If prisons are overcrowded, build more prisons so that people duly convicted can serve their sentence in civilised conditions. Better still, if prisons are overcrowded find out what it is in that particular country that causes it to produce so many insane, crazy people who cannot be rehabilitated. And fix that at source.

I said nothing of the sort. I just brought up valid reasons why the Death penalty is a valid form of punishment. You make it seem that building a prison has no consequences. By your statement lets just build as many prisons as we like anywhere we like. Cost is not a factor in that either. Find out whats wrong with this nation? Nothing, you dont think that there are just criminally insane people. Some people just prefer to do wrong or dont agree with the ruling party. Fix the problems of a nation or culture or people is not as simple as saying it like you just did and in most case is more costly. If you have the cure for insanity please give it to the world.

Not to mention by your words everyone deserves to be completely forgiven. Is that what you are saying. Even if they are in prison its the same as saying they are forgiven but they just have to stay in the place with free food, free bed, the possibility of having a social life all on the taxpayers dime. Most times the same people who say the death penalty is wrong are the same who say that prison are inhumane.

The death penalty is harsh and i feel that the system should be of sentencing people to death needs to be re-evaluated but it should not be taken off the table. This so called rehabilitation is crap because those people will always be marked. The purpose of rehabilitation is to allow convicted hard criminals to rejoin society.

Tell me, how comfortable would you be living next door to a "rehabilitated" serial killer? Thats why many "rehabilitated" criminals released from prison commit suicide. When they find a cure for insanity or find a rehabilitation that also condition society for the reintroduction of rehabilitated criminals then we can talk about how the death penalty is unnecessary.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just brought up valid reasons why the Death penalty is a valid form of punishment.

No, you didn't. You suggested that the death penalty was a valid alternative to crowded prisons.

Find out whats wrong with this nation? Nothing, you dont think that there are just criminally insane people. Some people just prefer to do wrong or dont agree with the ruling party.

If there are countries without the death penalty and reasonably low crime rates/reasonably low prison populations, and other countries that are full of criminally insane people who just prefer to do wrong and the prisons in those countries are so full to overflowing that the only alternative is to put the criminals down like stray dogs, then I think it's safe to say there is something very wrong with those latter countries.

by your words everyone deserves to be completely forgiven.

I never said anything of the sort. A ridiculous strawman argument.

how comfortable would you be living next door to a "rehabilitated" serial killer?

Who says serial killers can or should be 'rehabilitated'? If a person is a danger to the public I'm happy to see them locked up for life. Your 'people who say A also say B' argument is another strawman.

....then we can talk about how the death penalty is unnecessary

The death penalty is unnecessary. Many countries manage without it and are in a better state in terms of lethal crime rates and prison populations than the killer nations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i completely agree chloe, most countries could do away with the death penalty and there is an extreme minority of them that i think should maintain it, but Japan should seriously reconsider their death pentaly and justice system first . their methods of extracing a "confession" is extremely illogical and useless because the "confession" alone should not be enough for a conviction, much less a death penalty.

i am neutral when it comes to the death penalty as it is the situation that determines whether the defendent should be placed on death row or a life sentence or even being aquitted.

i am sorry this man spent so long in solitary while there was such doubt of his guilt... hopefully in death he will find peace

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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