crime

Japan hangs 3 death-row inmates; 1st executions in 2 years

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Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of the executions take place at the end of December! Maybe I just remember it that way.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

After the executions, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara told reporters it is "not appropriate to abolish (the country's death penalty system) considering the current situation in which heinous crimes continue to occur."

If heinous crimes continue to occur in the current situation, then I'd suggest that the death penalty system isn't effective enough as a deterrent. Therefore, why continue with it?

8 ( +27 / -19 )

Nothing to be proud of.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

One might argue that the practice of not telling people when they will be executed and holding them for decades before doing so allows them to live the rest of their lives like anybody else, not knowing when it might happen, and therefore almost forgetting about it until the last moment.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

The AvengerToday  06:13 pm JST

The practice of not informing inmates of their execution until only hours before they are hanged is “inhumane”.

I doubt they gave their victims even that much warning. They're getting off petty easy.

4 ( +24 / -20 )

Japan justice at finest..

Good !!..

Murderers deserve punishment..

The practice of not informing inmates of their execution until only hours before they are hanged is “inhumane”.

That is the real punishment, waiting 20 years knowing every day can be the last one..

3 ( +21 / -18 )

Death is a relief not a punishment.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The hangman has killed more people then those he kills, that’s odd when you think about it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

vaxatharianToday  06:36 pm JST

I doubt they gave their victims even that much warning. They're getting off petty easy.

Right, so because they acted like a monster, we should do the same?

Seriously dude, WTF?

Hope about we try to hold people to a higher standard, if we think killing people is wrong, then perhaps having the government not kill people would be a good and civilised way to behave.

Don't give me "it is a deterrent" because obviously it is not. If it was a deterrent, there would only have been one person executed by the government, and everyone else wouldn't have committed their crimes.

2 ( +22 / -20 )

All of the Japanese people I know, without exception, are of the same opinion - 'who cares, they deserved to suffer for years, then die'......

The thing I worry about, and I mention this to them, what about all of those 107 still on death-row who's guilt could be questionable, as raised by the first respondent to this report, sakurasuki. There can never be a situation whereby every single case is black-and-white definitely guilty, although this doesn't seem to worry them unduly.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Secretary Seiji Kihara told reporters it is "not appropriate to abolish (the country's death penalty system) considering the current situation in which heinous crimes continue to occur."

So he is saying that the death penalty is acting like a deterrent??? What a pathetic and disingenuous statement.

The fact is that a lot of these people on death row here are mentally deranged and places elsewhere would be declared unfit even to face trial due to reasons of Insanity. It's a fact that very few (can't even remember one) are declared mentally unstable at the time they carried out their crimes, even though many obviously are. And then there are plenlty of cases in which evidence was unclear or there was doubt.

But let's just terminates them. Got to project that 99% conviction rate. Justice, Japanese style.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Those slipping convicted criminals will statistically kill more innocent persons than the numbet of saved person.

Thats where you’re wrong, because you presume the only alternative to killing them is letting them go back into society. You can prevent them from killing more innocent people while also protecting innocent people from being wrongfully murdered by the state by abolishing the death penalty and replacing it with life without parole.

That way, the guilty are still prevented from causing further harm, but you now no longer run the risk of executing the wrong person. I’m

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the law holds that it is better that 10 guilty persons escape, than that 1 innocent suffer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do you believe some innocent persons are more worthy than others ?

The fact to keep in prison for life :

allows possible escape of murderers, who may murder again (without even considering those murderers that may get free by mistake, the opposite happens)

costs a lot of money that could be used to save for certain innocent persons, like say have more beds with breathing apparztus during an epidemic...

Between a one sure against two maybe, as far as it concerns saving persons, my choice is to save as many as possible.

Claiming I value the lives of some innocents over others is an interesting straw man that’s honestly beneath me to address.

You bring up prison escapes as a reason to discount the possibility of life without parole, but it’d be interested to see the numbers you have to back up your belief that this is a massive enough problem to justify occasionally murdering a few wrongfully convicted people over.

You also bring up the cost associated with life without parole and this is where your callousness really comes through. One, because you presume that the money ‘saved’ by executing someone will be used to help people, a claim you cannot possibly prove. And two, by framing it in terms of cost, what you really are saying is “A few dead innocents is an acceptable price to pay to save the taxpayer a few yen.” For someone who accused me of holding the lives of certain people cheap, you seem to have done some rather cold accounting.

So I’ll ask. How much taxpayer savings would be justifiable? If it saved the government a million yen at the cost of an innocent life, would that be acceptable to you? Ten million yen? Five hundred thousand? How many saved yen is an innocent life worth in your budgeting?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

rainman1Dec. 21  08:16 pm JST

Well done Japan. For heinous crimes beyond doubt, let them hang by the neck until dead.

Other G7 countries should take notice and reinstate the death penalty. Although, the French had the right idea. The Firing Squad.

Why? What good does it do? Seriously there is nothing positive about state executions at all. It is a total lose lose-lose act for all involved.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sindhoor GKToday  12:58 pm JST

From those 107 people how many innocent people are there because they were forced to confess?

Japan has the second lowest Rate of 'Forced Confessions' in G7(first being Germany).

According to who? You think forced confessions are reported in Japan?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ever heard of the word " research " ? Japan is ranked 15th most fair Justice System in the world(2nd in g7) and 9th most fair in Criminal Justice subcategory (2nd in g7).

Based on what?

How can you claim it's a fair justice system when they have a 99% conviction rate, no right to a lawyer or even to contact family and friends after being arrested and the police can detain you for weeks without any charge.

There is also no requirement to video record interviews.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sindhoor GKToday  03:17 pm JST

@Letsberealistic

the paper found that Japanese prosecutors have a far more pressing need to be selective. In the U.S., the federal government employs 27,985 lawyers, and the states employ another 38,242 (of which 24,700 are state prosecutors). In Japan, with about a third of the U.S. population, the entire government employs a mere 2,000. Despite Japan having a low crime rate, such numbers create a significant case overload for prosecutors. In the U.S., there are 480 arrests (96 serious cases) per year per state prosecutor. (The actual figure is lower as some are prosecuted in federal court). In Japan, the figure is 700 per year per prosecutor. In the U.S., a rough estimate is that 42% of arrests in felony cases result in prosecution - while in Japan, the figure is only 17.5%.

In murder, U.S. police arrested 19,000 people for 26,000 murders, in which 75% were prosecuted, and courts convicted 12,000 people. In Japan, 1,800 people were arrested for 1,300 murders, but prosecutors tried only 43%. Had the allegation that Japanese prosecutors use weak evidence mostly based on (forced) confessions to achieve convictions been true, the larger proportion of arrests would have resulted in prosecutions and eventual conviction. But the opposite is true. In fact, the data indicates that Japanese prosecutors bring charges only when the evidence is overwhelming, and the likelihood of conviction is near absolute, which gives a greater incentive for the accused to confess and aim for a lighter sentence, which, in turn, results in a high rate for confession.

The Japanese criminal justice system, despite retaining the death penalty, is relatively lenient in sentencing by the standard of the United States. Outside capital cases, many of those sentenced to life sentences are paroled within 15 years. Those convicted of less heinous murder and manslaughter are likely to serve less than 10 years. Those convicted of rape will often serve less than two to five years. It is even possible for someone convicted of murder to serve a suspended sentence if the defense successfully argues for mitigating circumstances. Moreover, in Japanese criminal proceedings, the conviction and sentencing phases are separate. In the Japanese criminal justice system, these are distinct phases, echoing that of common law jurisdictions where sentencing is usually remitted to a later hearing after a finding of guilt. The court proceedings first determine guilt, then a second proceeding takes place to determine the sentence. Prosecutors and defense teams argue each phase. Defense lawyers, given the predictability of the outcome in term of guilt once the charge is brought, together with the leniency of punishment (except in death penalty cases), often advise the accused to confess their guilt in a trial. Remorse is seen as a mitigating factor that tends to bring reduced sentences.

Ever heard of the word " research " ? Japan is ranked 15th most fair Justice System in the world(2nd in g7) and 9th most fair in Criminal Justice subcategory (2nd in g7).

This is just a comparison with the US justice system which has to be among the worst in the Western world.

How about a comparison with somewhere in Europe or New Zealand, Canada etc.?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why would anyone care that the convicted murderers are "put down" without prior notification? Did they send their victims a post card before killing them?

Have sympathy for the victims, NOT murdering lowlife.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

You dont like the punishment??

Then don't commit serious crimes. Follow the laws and rules of the land.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Good job

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Richard GallagherDec. 21  08:42 pm JST

As for just punishment: life in prison, without parole is harsh. Caged for life. Within an institution that is not only harsh, but violent. 

Prisons in Japan are known for being violent-free. Life in prison without parole is harsh? Tell this to the victims and relatives of these criminals and I wonder their reply.

Why are so many people for the death penalty? It is because they are worried about repeat offenders. A life sentence is rarely a life sentence in Japan and elsewhere and you are never sure after their release if they do not commit horrible crimes again.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Why are so many people for the death penalty? It is because they are worried about repeat offenders. A life sentence is rarely a life sentence in Japan and elsewhere and you are never sure after their release if they do not commit horrible crimes again.

Nobody is saying their crimes aren’t horrible and no one is advocating for just letting people walk free. Life without parole is a viable alternative.

Personally, I think people like those listed above deserve to die. My opposition to the death penalty has nothing to do with the guilty. My opposition to the death penalty is that while a convict’s death is guaranteed, his guilt is not.

The justice system is a human system and thus open to mistakes, misrepresentation, and outright abuse. Sentence an innocent man to life in prison and that’s something you can undo. You can’t unkill someone if you make a mistake.

And I’d rather a thousand convicted criminals slip the noose than have a single innocent person die at the end of it.

Lock them up and throw away the key. But until we can guarantee 100% of the people being punished are guilty, there’s no moral justification for a punishment with such finality,

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

While I agree with the death penalty in principle, I think that it is disgusting in Japan that it takes so long to finalise, and then to execute.

Secondly, again while I agree with the death penalty for heinous crimes, I have no confidence in Japan's standard of law / rule of law, and don't think that under Japan's current system, any conviction can be considered safe.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

When you someone to death, you are just as SAVAGE as the killer himself.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

State-sanctioned murder of people who are locked up and of no threat to anyone... and also potentially innocent people coerced into guilty confessions.

...Because we are not, apparently, better than the bad guys.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Letsberealistic

the paper found that Japanese prosecutors have a far more pressing need to be selective. In the U.S., the federal government employs 27,985 lawyers, and the states employ another 38,242 (of which 24,700 are state prosecutors). In Japan, with about a third of the U.S. population, the entire government employs a mere 2,000. Despite Japan having a low crime rate, such numbers create a significant case overload for prosecutors. In the U.S., there are 480 arrests (96 serious cases) per year per state prosecutor. (The actual figure is lower as some are prosecuted in federal court). In Japan, the figure is 700 per year per prosecutor. In the U.S., a rough estimate is that 42% of arrests in felony cases result in prosecution - while in Japan, the figure is only 17.5%.

In murder, U.S. police arrested 19,000 people for 26,000 murders, in which 75% were prosecuted, and courts convicted 12,000 people. In Japan, 1,800 people were arrested for 1,300 murders, but prosecutors tried only 43%. Had the allegation that Japanese prosecutors use weak evidence mostly based on (forced) confessions to achieve convictions been true, the larger proportion of arrests would have resulted in prosecutions and eventual conviction. But the opposite is true. In fact, the data indicates that Japanese prosecutors bring charges only when the evidence is overwhelming, and the likelihood of conviction is near absolute, which gives a greater incentive for the accused to confess and aim for a lighter sentence, which, in turn, results in a high rate for confession.

The Japanese criminal justice system, despite retaining the death penalty, is relatively lenient in sentencing by the standard of the United States. Outside capital cases, many of those sentenced to life sentences are paroled within 15 years. Those convicted of less heinous murder and manslaughter are likely to serve less than 10 years. Those convicted of rape will often serve less than two to five years. It is even possible for someone convicted of murder to serve a suspended sentence if the defense successfully argues for mitigating circumstances. Moreover, in Japanese criminal proceedings, the conviction and sentencing phases are separate. In the Japanese criminal justice system, these are distinct phases, echoing that of common law jurisdictions where sentencing is usually remitted to a later hearing after a finding of guilt. The court proceedings first determine guilt, then a second proceeding takes place to determine the sentence. Prosecutors and defense teams argue each phase. Defense lawyers, given the predictability of the outcome in term of guilt once the charge is brought, together with the leniency of punishment (except in death penalty cases), often advise the accused to confess their guilt in a trial. Remorse is seen as a mitigating factor that tends to bring reduced sentences.

Ever heard of the word " research " ? Japan is ranked 15th most fair Justice System in the world(2nd in g7) and 9th most fair in Criminal Justice subcategory (2nd in g7).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Masahiko Fujita, 66, who served as an executioner in the 1970s said “Some say that hanging is a brutal method of capital punishment, but I think these are opinions by those who know nothing about how it’s done,” he said. “We take extreme care in the execution process so that the dignity of death will never be undermined.”

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

some monsters deserve no place on earth, however they can be shipped to those western countries without death penalty. otherwise this is Japanese own justice.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

sakurasuki Today 05:06 pm JST

That post says it all.

Justice in Japan is not mature enough to have death penalty.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

List of executions in Japan since 1993 with date.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_executions_in_Japan

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

A little reminder to those who may wish to challenge the power of the status quo in Japan: you can be taken off the street, framed for a crime you didn't commit, kept in solitary for 30 years and then hanged.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Sadly, Japan (along with the US) has not yet grown up.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

> Sindhoor GKToday  05:47 am JST

@letsberealistic

How about a comparison with somewhere in Europe or New Zealand, Canada etc.?

Okay, have you read this?

Japan is ranked 15th most fair Justice System in the world(2nd in g7) and 9th most fair in Criminal Justice subcategory (2nd in g7).

I mean the fundamentals of the system, not some random ranking from a dubious source based on unreliable reporting in Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

MatToday  07:00 pm JST

vaxatharianToday  06:36 pm JST

I doubt they gave their victims even that much warning. They're getting off petty easy.

Right, so because they acted like a monster, we should do the same?

Seriously dude, WTF?

Hope about we try to hold people to a higher standard, if we think killing people is wrong, then perhaps having the government not kill people would be a good and civilised way to behave.

Don't give me "it is a deterrent" because obviously it is not. If it was a deterrent, there would only have been one person executed by the government, and everyone else wouldn't have committed their crimes.

Calm down. All I said was that the government gave them more of a warning than they gave to their victims. There was no implication of condoning capital punishment by the government - I'm on the same side as you.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

A sad Day.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

What goes around, comes around.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

From those 107 people how many innocent people are there because they were forced to confess?

Japan has the second lowest Rate of 'Forced Confessions' in G7(first being Germany).

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@letsberealistic

How about a comparison with somewhere in Europe or New Zealand, Canada etc.?

Okay, have you read this?

Japan is ranked 15th most fair Justice System in the world(2nd in g7) and 9th most fair in Criminal Justice subcategory (2nd in g7).

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The practice of not informing inmates of their execution until only hours before they are hanged is “inhumane”.

-4 ( +17 / -21 )

Waking inmate from a slumber, then sending them to gallows, without prior notice is inhumane

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

O*K***ay, someone’s comments read particularly ‘cruel & unusual’. Which of the 50 United States do you hail from ? By these kinds of comments, can we presume it to be ‘Texas’ ?**:

@TokyoLiving 7:02pm: “Good !!.. Murderers deserve punishment.. 

[“The practice of not informing inmates of their execution until only hours before they are hanged is “inhumane”.] -

“That is the real punishment, waiting 20 years knowing every day can be the last one..” -

https://www.tdcj.texas.gov/death_row/dr_facts.html -
-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Following Tuesday's executions, the number of inmates sitting on death row in Japan stands at 107.

From those 107 people how many innocent people are there because they were forced to confess?

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/03/22/national/crime-legal/false-conviction-japan-justice-system/

-6 ( +19 / -25 )

Well done Japan. For heinous crimes beyond doubt, let them hang by the neck until dead.

Other G7 countries should take notice and reinstate the death penalty. Although, the French had the right idea. The Firing Squad.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Great start to the new prime ministers rule. Clinton-esque.

And for those who continually harp on forced confessions or a high conviction rate: most folks who actually go to trial or confess are guilty. Add to that, in such as the USA, most criminals are never apprehended. Atop that, the conviction rate in the USA is similar to Japan, if you include plea bargains and such.

As for the death penalty: the state should never be empowered o execute is citizenry - eventually he state will abuse that right.

As for just punishment: life in prison, without parole is harsh. Caged for life. Within an institution that is not only harsh, but violent. All the nonsense about prison being a country club, if you believe that: go spend a week or a month or a year in prison and then re-assess.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

@Reynardfox

And I’d rather a thousand convicted criminals slip the noose than have a single innocent person die at the end of it.

That is your error.

Those slipping convicted criminals will statistically kill more innocent persons than the numbet of saved person.

Outcome will save OVERALL more innocent persons. Do you want more or less innocent persons saved ?

Do you believe some innocent persons are more worthy than others ?

The fact to keep in prison for life :

allows possible escape of murderers, who may murder again (without even considering those murderers that may get free by mistake, the opposite happens)

costs a lot of money that could be used to save for certain innocent persons, like say have more beds with breathing apparztus during an epidemic...

Between a one sure against two maybe, as far as it concerns saving persons, my choice is to save as many as possible.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I prefer not regard these as executions. I would prefer to think that Yasutaka Fujishiro, Tomoaki Takanezawa, and Mitsunori Onogawa how shall we say, “got time off for good behavior”.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Cruel, just 4 Day before Christmas.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Justice in Japan!

-8 ( +12 / -20 )

Who cares? We all have to die from anything, corona, cancer, accident, age, murder, execution. Does that save us now or the judges and executioners from death? No. They are all due very soon too, and then buried and forgotten in a few years or decades like everyone else.

-19 ( +13 / -32 )

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