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Recently, the death penalty has been handed down in lay judge trials. If executions continue to be delayed because of politicians' personal views, public confidence in the law will be shaken. Executio


Tokyo Metropolitan University Prof Masahide Maeda, an expert on criminal law. No death row inmate in Japan has been executed in more than a year, and Justice Minister Satsuki Eda says he does not intend to authorize any executions in the immediate future, raising questions about whether it is appropriate that executions are stopped due to the personal beliefs of the justice minister. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

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Maeda-san, how easy it is to talk about the death of someone else. I wonder how eager you would be if you or someone you know was on death row.

I am amazed by how a modern, moral nation can continue to tolerate state sanctioned murder. The death penalty sends a strong societal message that violence IS a solution to problems. When in reality society should be taking the higher moral ground to say that violence is not a solution and murder is universally wrong, even by the state.

The justice minister clearly holds a higher moral understanding than Maeda. Eda-san clearly understands the moral implications of state murder and is doing precisely what is required to resist immoral and unjust state acts of murder.

We have this same debate in my country. But thankfully many states have banned capitol punishment. Executions do not offer closure to victim's families, they do not service society, they do not impose justice. What executions do accomplish is to lower society to the level of the murderer and to bloody all our hands.

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Those are noble sentiments @ tkoind2, and I would only say that it is reasonable for society to adopt certain measures to protect itself from incorrigible people who cannot be reformed, and who will kill again if released from prison. Unfortunately there are in this world people who feel no remorse for their evil deeds, and efforts via counseling, religion, etc. have failed to modify their behavior. So if it's a question of making them suffer as opposed to having future innocent victims suffer, I'm afraid there isn't much of a choice.

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People on death row get proven innocent all the time.

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In Japan too


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public confidence in the law will be shaken

I hope confidence in the law is shaken to the point where the law is abolished. It's shocking that a country (any first world country anywhere) still practices this blatant measure of revenge.

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How can anyone respect a state that uses the death penalty? If death is so wrong, the state should have no business killing people.

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While it sounds very noble and moral to be against the death penalty, in a more practical term, why should the tax payer money be used to feed these murdering people for the rest of their lives? What's the purpose? To have them remorse? Is there really any justice in that? I'd imagine that there is actually more closure in having the offenders die in a swift manner. And it also acts as a strong detergent, saving more potential lives.

Granted, death penalty is not something that should be handed out left and right, especially if there's even a slightest hint of doubt or lack of direct evidence. The story of Sakae Menda is truly horrendous and should have never happened. I can't even imagine how much the man has suffered. On the other hand, does anyone honestly believe that the culprit of Akihabara massacre should be let to live?

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why should the tax payer money be used to feed these murdering people for the rest of their lives?


Because it's the tax payers who are responsible for their society, including all its failings, and the people they choose to run it.

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