Japan death penalty news

Started by leopard32, July 27, 2011, 11:43:51 AM

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JTiscool

Time for her to hang high and dry.
My reason for supporting the death penalty? A murderer has less of a right to live than his victim and already presents a danger while incarcerated for life. They have nothing to lose when the most they can get is Life in prison without parole.

AnneTheBelgian

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T120415002469.htm

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 15, 2012)

(Apr. 16, 2012)

Lay judges give death penalty based on circumstantial evidence

The Yomiuri Shimbun

"It can be clearly stated that the perpetrator can be no one other than the defendant," the Saitama District Court said in the conclusion of a ruling it handed down on Friday.

In a lay judge trial, Kanae Kijima was convicted of murder and other crimes for killing three men through carbon monoxide poisoning using charcoal briquettes and stoves, disguising their deaths as suicides. The district court sentenced the 37-year-old woman to death as demanded by the prosecution.

The verdict fully reflected the prosecution's arguments.

Regarding the motive for the murders, the ruling found the defendant "received huge amounts of money from the victims to maintain an extravagant lifestyle and killed all three so she would not have to pay back the money they had given her."

There was no direct evidence linking Kijima to the crimes, such as eyewitness testimony or a confession, and the defendant pleaded not guilty in the high-profile trial.

The prosecution aimed to substantiate the accusations through many layers of circumstantial evidence. The Kijima trial can be called a prime example of a complex criminal case.

===

Initial probes deficient

In court, the prosecution emphasized that all three suspicious deaths had a large number of things in common. Among them were such facts as that all three men had dated Kijima until just before they died and there were charcoal briquettes and stoves at each of the death scenes.

The prosecution also argued that the defendant's purchases of charcoal and stoves prior to the deaths of the men should be considered convincing evidence that the defendant committed a string of murders.

Although the defendant insisted she purchased the charcoal "for cooking purposes," the court rejected that as an "irrational excuse."

The case, which drew much public attention, brought to the fore a number of deficiencies in the process of police investigations.

The police deemed one of the deaths a suicide and failed to perform an autopsy. Investigators also mistakenly judged another of the deaths to have been due to a fire caused by the man mishandling a burning cigarette.

There can be no room for doubt that these mistakes during the initial investigations of the cases affected adversely the task of substantiating the charges in the trial.

In addition, we have an uneasy feeling about an analogy the prosecution used in its closing arguments regarding the evaluation of the circumstantial evidence.

The prosecution said: "Suppose that you go to bed at night when a starry sky is seen, and find after daybreak the neighborhood is blanketed in snow. Can't that be taken as proof that snow fell during the course of the night?"

Even admitting that the prosecution used the analogy in an effort to offer an intelligible explanation to the lay judges, it could still be interpreted as an effort to prod the lay judges into making a judgment by playing on their imaginations.

===

Dedication of lay judges

In light of the cardinal rule in criminal trials that judgments must be made solely on the basis of the evidence, the use of that analogy cannot be considered appropriate.

The lay judges in the trial are believed to have been under enormous pressure, both mentally and physically.

The lay judges served for 100 days, attending a total of 36 public hearings in the case. At the close of the trial, one male lay judge said at a press conference, "We've made it by working together to bring the trial to an end, and I now feel a sense of accomplishment."

They may have been under heavy strain in making the choice to impose capital punishment on the defendant.

Prosecutors have demanded the death penalty in 18 lay judge trials so far, including this one. Death sentences have been handed down in 14 of those cases.

The lay judge system can continue to exist because lay judges have assumed weighty responsibilities for the cause of justice.

The serial murder trial has brought home to us anew the significance of the dedicated efforts of lay judges.





Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

turboprinz

Japanīs death chamber
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

leopard32

8/03

Two male convicts were executed by hanging in Japan on Friday, according to a release from the Ministry of Justice. The first was 40 year old Junya Hattori, who was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 19 year old college student, followed by burning her to death, in 2002. The second was Kyozo Matsumura, 31, who killed two of his own relatives before stealing their money in 2007. This makes a total of five executions that Japan has conducted so far this year.

Three executions of multiple murders were held this past March, bringing an end to a 20-month respite without capital punishment in the country. 2011 was the first year in close to two decades that not a single death sentence was carried out. That period was heavy with debate over the use of capital punishment, as Japan is often the recipient of criticism from human rights groups and European governments which abolished the sentencing of executions.

Today's executions were the first to be approved by the new Justice Minister Makoto Taki, who was appointed to the position in June. Other than the United States, Japan is seen as the only first-world democratic nation that still permits executions of its criminals. There now remain 130 convicts on Japan's death row, including Shoko Asahara, the founder of the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult, which was responsible for the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, leaving 13 people dead and over 6,000 injured.

leopard32

Following on from the above there has been the typical wave of condemnation, as reported in the UK's Daily Telegraph.

France urged Japan to restore a moratorium on its use of the death penalty following the executions.

"France calls on Japan to follow the path of the 140 countries who have, in law or in practice, ended capital punishment by re-establishing its de facto moratorium while it continues a national debate on the future of the death penalty," a French foreign ministry spokesman said.

Germany also condemned the hangings.

"I am shocked by the execution of two people in Japan and the way the executions were carried out," the German government's top human rights official, Markus Loening, said in a statement.

"I again call on the Japanese government to eliminate the death penalty. More than two-thirds of countries worldwide have turned their backs on this inhumane punishment."

Roseann Rife, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International said: "Japan's leadership are choosing to hide behind public opinion rather than demonstrate leadership and work towards the abolition of this ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment."

END

My comments.

So a man who rapes a girl and then burns her to death should have the right to life but the poor girl can suffer the most horrific end imaginable.  Only the human rights idiots can see this argument.   As I have said before I do not see what business it is of France and Germany as to what goes on in other countries, especially ones with advanced judicial systems like Japan, with proper appeals and a full review of each case.

Russki

"Japan's leadership are choosing to hide behind public opinion rather than demonstrate leadership.............."

That's right; it is called DEMOCRACY. A word that somehow seems to have become lost in Europe.
Bombs do not choose. They will hit everything   ... Nikita Khrushchev

I once said, "We will bury you," and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you.  ... Nikita Khrushchev

leopard32

Sept 12, 2012

A Japanese court on Wednesday upheld the death sentence imposed on a man who ploughed a truck into a crowd of shoppers before stabbing passers-by in a rampage that left seven people dead.

Tomohiro Kato, 29, had appealed against the penalty for the 2008 attack in Tokyo's bustling electronics district of Akihabara, which also left 10 people injured.

Kato, who used a double-edged knife in the attack, was sentenced to die last year after telling Tokyo District Court he was "fully responsible" for the bloody massacre on a busy June lunchtime.

However, his lawyers had appealed on the basis that Kato, who did not appear in court, was delusional.

Turning down the appeal, presiding judge Yoshinobu Iida told Tokyo High Court the original judgement was sound, Jiji Press reported.

"The defendant shows some sense of remorse, but there are no special circumstances that call for avoidance of capital punishment," he said, according to broadcaster NHK.

At the initial sentencing in March last year, presiding judge Hiroaki Murayama said the killing spree was "a brutal crime that did not indicate a shred of humanity on the part of the defendant," adding the death penalty was the only suitable punishment.

The noon-time rampage shocked Japan, which has a low violent crime rate, while throwing the spotlight on the online bullying that led up to the attacks in Akihabara, a centre for the manga comic and anime film subculture.

In one of the court hearings, Kato said he had committed his crime because he had been the target of online bullying.

"I wanted people to know that I seriously wanted to stop the harassment on the Internet bulletin board that I used," he said, according to Japanese media.

Japan had not seen such a deadly attack since seven years earlier to the day when a former mental patient stabbed to death eight children at an elementary school.

leopard32

9/27



A faith healer who beat six followers to death was hanged on Sept. 27, making her only the fourth woman to be executed in Japan since 1950, the Justice Ministry said.

Sachiko Eto, 65, was one of two convicted murderers put to death, taking to seven the number of executions carried out this year.

Eto's punishment was carried out at the Sendai Branch Detention House in northeastern Japan.

The slayings occurred during "exorcism" rituals in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, in 1994 and 1995. Two of the victims were male. Eto ordered the fatal beatings, which involved blows with heavy wooden sticks used for Taiko drumming, and took part in them with her followers.

Eto was originally sentenced to death by a district court, which was upheld on appeal to a high court. The Supreme Court finalized the sentence in 2008.

Yukinori Matsuda, 39, was hanged the same day at the Fukuoka Detention House in western Japan.

Matsuda was convicted in the stabbing murders of a couple during a burglary in Matsubase, Kumamoto Prefecture, now part of Uki, in 2003.

Matsuda made off with 80,000 yen ($1,030) in cash, a wrist watch and other items. He also was originally sentenced to death by a district court, which was upheld on appeal to a high court. His sentence was finalized after he retracted his appeal in 2009.

The executions, the second in two months, leave 131 inmates on death row.

The numbers have been increasing as death sentences continue to be handed down under the citizen judge system introduced three years ago.

It was the fourth round of hangings carried out under Democratic Party of Japan administrations since the party wrested control of government in September 2009, and the second set under Justice Minister Makoto Taki.

Taki, who is 74 years old and has asked to be relieved of his ministerial duties in a Cabinet reshuffle expected next month, denied that he rushed the executions while he was still in office.

Taki is the oldest minister in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

"I am too old. I had better be left out (of the reshuffle)," Taki told a news conference on Sept. 25.

Taki said he began reviewing the death warrants for Eto and Matsuda even before two other executions were carried out on Aug. 3.

"I decided on the (latest) executions before I made the remark (about being too old)," he said.

Although he is a strong supporter of the death penalty, Taki has called for national debate on capital punishment, which opinion polls show has strong support in Japanese society.

"My basic idea is that those who were sentenced to death should be executed," he said. "(But) it is an issue that needs to be discussed constantly.

"There is a limit to what discussions within the (justice) ministry can do," Taki added. "What matters is how the general public perceives this question."

When the Liberal Democratic Party was in power, executions began to be regularly carried out under Justice Minister Masaharu Gotoda. He resumed executions in 1993 following a 40-month hiatus.

The pace of executions accelerated around the time Jinen Nagase became justice minister in 2006.

Under Kunio Hatoyama, 13 death row inmates were hanged during his 11 months in office.

Hatoyama caused much controversy by saying he wished a system was in place to "automatically" execute death inmates without the justice minister having to review the cases.

Eisuke Mori, the last justice minister under an LDP administration, ordered nine executions during his 11 months in office.

The DPJ, acknowledging a global trend to abolish capital punishment, floated the idea of introducing life imprisonment without the possibility of parole after it took the reins of government in 2009.

Keiko Chiba, the first justice minister under the DPJ-led government, was opposed to the death penalty. Even so, she ordered two hangings in July 2010 and then called for "national debate" on the issue.

A 20-month lull in executions followed as justice ministers came and went. But no national debate was held on the merits of capital punishment.

Executions resumed in March, when Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa ordered three inmates hanged.

He said executions were part of his official duties.

Seven convicted murderers have been executed this year, almost at the pace of LDP-led administrations.

turboprinz

44 years on death row

Stockport Group has been without a Prisoner Of Conscience for a while now, but we can announce that the group is now supporting an "Individual at Risk", as part of Amnesty's campaign against the death penalty.

Hakamada Iwao is a 76-year-old Japanese ex-boxer.  He was arrested on a charge of murder in 1966, convicted in 1968, and has been on death row ever since.  Because the Japanese legal system only gives prisoners a few hours' notice of their execution, Hakamada wakes up each morning not knowing if the new day is going to be his last.  In addition, death row inmates in Japan are habitually confined to single cells, forbidden to talk to other prisoners, and not allowed television, personal interests or hobbies; Hakamada has effectively spent three decades in solitary confinement.

He is believed to be the world's longest-serving death row inmate.

He was accused of stabbing to death four people: the managing director of the miso company where he worked, the man's wife, and their two children.  Then, it was said, he set fire to their house, supposedly to destroy evidence.

When the case came to trial, the prosecutors a knife said to be the murder weapon, and a pair of Hakamada's pyjamas, on which there might or might not have been traces of blood and gasoline.  They also had a signed confession.  Hakamada pled not guilty, accusing the police of extracting the confession from him under duress.  He had, he said, been questioned for up to 12 hours a day for 20 days.  He claimed that he'd been assaulted by the police, and that they had also threatened to bring his mother in "for questioning".

In a separate development, the prosecution decided not to present the pyjamas, but instead came up with a different set of clothes, which didn't even fit the accused.

The knife was, said the defence, too small to have caused the fatal wounds.

A panel of three judges heard the case, and decided that Hakamada was guilty on a two-to-one majority.  In 2007, Norimichi Kumamoto, the judge who had thought him innocent, broke with tradition and spoke out against the conviction.

"I wanted someone in the Supreme Court to hear me just once at the end of my life," Kumamoto said, many years later. "I'm glad I spoke up. I wish I had said it earlier, and maybe something might have changed."

Psychiatric examinations have shown that Hakamada has a mental illness, which is believed to be the result of the torment of years in solitary confinement, under the constant threat of death.

Today, lawyers are still fighting for a retrial.  According to Hakamada's lawyers, forensic test results disclosed on 13 April 2012 show no match between Hakamada's DNA and samples taken from clothing he is alleged by the prosecution to have worn at the time of the crime.

The District court has decided to continue examining the DNA analysis results at an appeal that will begin on 19 October 2012. The court will then judge the credibility of all of the DNA tests and decide whether or not to grant Hakamada Iwao a retrial.

http://www2.amnesty.org.uk/groups/stockport/44-years-death-row
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

turboprinz

Former bar hostess sentenced to death for two murders

Crime Dec. 05, 2012 - 06:45AM JST ( 18 )

TOTTORI --

The Tottori District Court on Tuesday sentenced a former bar hostess to death for the murder of two men in 2009.

According to the court ruling, Miyuki Ueta, 38, murdered Kazumi Yabe, 47, a truck driver, and Hideki Maruyama, 57, a store owner, NTV reported. Ueta owed both men money, the court heard. Yabe drowned in the sea, while Maruyama met a similar fate in a river. Autopsies revealed that both men had been drugged before they went into the water.

A panel of six lay judges handed down the guilty ruling in the 75-day trial.

Lawyers for Ueta, who admitted to defrauding the two men but denied killing them, said they will appeal the ruling, claiming the prosecution's case was based solely on circumstantial evidence, NTV reported.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/former-bar-hostess-sentenced-to-death-for-two-murders

I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

turboprinz

Japan Death Row Inmates Want Prior Warning



Death row inmates in Japan want to be told of their execution in advance, instead of on the day they are to be hanged, a lawmaker's survey said.

A majority of those sentenced to die would also like the present method of administering punishment to be reviewed, with the largest bloc saying their preferred choice would be lethal injection.

The survey was carried out by Mizuho Fukushima, deputy chairwoman of the nonpartisan Parliamentary League for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, from September to November and was published Friday, Kyodo News reported.

It covered 133 people on death row, two of whom were executed at the end of September, taking this year's total in Japan to seven.

Of the 78 who replied, 51 said they wanted to know ahead of time that they would be put to death, with opinions varying from a day to a month in advance. Many said they wanted the chance to say goodbye to loved ones.

More than half said they wanted the state to think again about the method of execution, with 25 saying they wanted to die by lethal injection, the survey said.

Apart from the United States, Japan is the only major industrialized democracy to carry out capital punishment, a practice that has led to repeated protests from European governments and human rights groups.

International advocacy groups say the system is cruel because death row inmates can wait for their executions for many years in solitary confinement and are only told of their impending death a few hours ahead of time.

On December 20, a record 111 countries voted for a moratorium on capital punishment at a keynote U.N. General Assembly human rights meeting.

Japan, where the punishment enjoys widespread public support, was one of 41 nations that voted against the motion, putting it alongside China, Iran, North Korea and the U.S.

No-one was executed in Japan for the 20 months to March 2012, leading to hopes among campaigners that the country was following the international trend of a self-imposed moratorium.

In a legal quirk, executions are banned over the New Year period, as well as on weekends and public holidays.

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/66400-japan-death-row-inmates-want-prior-warning
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

GermanFan

#26
December 30, 2012, 08:52:17 PM Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 09:27:00 PM by GermanFan
turboprinz already posted that there are currently 133 inmates on Japan's DR (thanks!), however it should be noted that this is the highest number of living DR inmates in Japan ever. I know a solution to that, but I do not want to spoil it :) And, there is some good news, too, as there have been elections in Japan recently, and the newly elected government is a more conservative one than the last (even though their party's name is Liberal Democratic Party, they are more like centre-right)

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121231a1.html

Record 133 inmates held on death row
Seven hanged in '12 but inmates soared for third consecutive year
Jiji, Kyodo
The number of criminals on death row at the end of 2012 stood at 133, the highest on record, the latest Justice Ministry figures show.

Seven criminals were executed this year and nine were given death sentences.

For the third consecutive year, the number of inmates on death row climbed to record numbers. Data about the inmates has been available since 1949.

After remaining below 60 during the first half of the 2000s, the yearend totals topped 100 in 2007 and 130 in 2011, when no one was executed for the first time in 19 years.

In the previous government led by the Democratic Party of Japan from September 2009 to this month, nine people were executed, far fewer than the 28 hanged in the three years to 2008 under the Liberal Democratic Party-led government.

The fall is believed to stem in part from the frequently change in justice ministers during the DPJ's first time in rule. After former Justice Minister Keiko Chiba ordered two criminals executed in July 2010, none followed for about 20 months until then-Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa issued an execution order in March this year.

New Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki of the LDP has expressed a positive stance toward executions. "The death penalty system has adequate grounds and I will perform my duties under relevant laws," he told a recent news conference.

Criminals whose death penalties were finalized this year include Takayuki Fukuda, 31, who was a minor when he killed and raped a woman and murdered her baby in 1999 in Hikari, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The high-profile case caught the nation's attention and gave momentum to proponents of capital punishment.

Meanwhile, in a recent survey on the inmates, a large number of them said they want to be notified of their execution date in advance instead of being told only in the morning of the day they are to going to be hanged.

The survey, conducted by an lawmaker who opposes capital punishment, said that 51 of the 78 inmates who replied said they favor advance notice. A majority of them also called for a review of the execution method, with many saying they would prefer lethal injection to the noose.

The survey, conducted between September and November by Mizuho Fukushima, deputy chairwoman of the nonpartisan Parliamentary League for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, covered the 133 inmates and offered a rare insight into their thoughts on the system in a country widely known to severely limit information about its death penalty population and policies.

On Dec. 20 the United Nations adopted a resolution calling on countries that conduct executions to impose a moratorium on the death penalty and disclose information about the practice. With opinion polls showing that 80 percent of Japanese expressing support for capital punishment, Japan voted against it.

The survey by Fukushima found 24 of the inmates said they want to be notified of the date of their execution by one to seven days ahead, while nine wanted about a month. Several said they wanted the opportunity to bid farewell to their relatives and friends.

Four said advance notification was not necessary, while one cited the possibility of having the option of suicide, the survey said.

On the execution method, 44 of 78 said they want the state to review hanging, and the largest portion -- 25 inmates -- said they want to die by lethal injection, the survey said.

Fukushima is a veteran House of Councilors' member who leads the Social Democratic Party, a minor opposition party.
--
Let's be economical: The best way against high costs associated with the DP are swift executions.

turboprinz

Death penalty given to murderer with single victim and no criminal record
February 15, 2013

An Okayama district court sentenced 30-year old Koichi Sumida to death for killing a 27-year old woman in September 2011. This is the first death sentence in which there was only one victim and the accused has no previously recorded crimes. Sumida's lawyer immediately filed an appeal on the same day.

Sumida was charged with the crimes of robbery, rape, murder and damaging and abandoning a body. He had previously admitted to committing the crimes and said that he felt no pity for his victim. In a most recent hearing, however, he was in tears as he sought for the forgiveness of the victim's family. The ruling confirmed that his victim, Misa Kato, was in fact a colleague. He robbed her first prior to sexually assaulting her and stabbing her to death. He then dismembered her body and abandoned it in Osaka.

Sumida is the 16th recipient of a death penalty from a judging panel which included private citizens--a system introduced in May 2009. Judge Morioka, who presided over the panel of professional and lay judges hearing the case, highlighted that the motive was to "work off sexual frustration" and "there is little likelihood of rehabilitation." He said Sumida's lack of criminal record was an inappropriate consideration to lessen the penalty where "the defendant's inclination toward committing a crime cannot be ruled out."

http://japandailypress.com/death-penalty-given-to-murderer-with-single-victim-and-no-criminal-record-1523480
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

turboprinz

Death penalty upheld for man convicted of killing seven in 2008 Akihabara murder spree
2015/02/04

Even in a country without Japan's incredibly low rate of violent crime, the events that took place in Tokyo's Akihabara on June 8, 2008 would have been shocking. Driving a rented truck, Tomohiro Kato, then in his late 20s, deliberately drove into a pedestrian area, only stopping and exiting the vehicle to continue his rampage by attacking still more victims with a knife. Seven innocent people lay dead, with another 10 seriously injured, by the time he was captured by police.

Kato was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death in 2011, a decision his lawyer appealed on the grounds that the punishment was unduly harsh. The Supreme Court disagrees, though, and as of February 2 has finalized the decision that Kato be executed for his crimes.

Presiding judge Ryuko Sakurai spoke on the decision, which was handed down at 6:58 in the evening. Sakurai acknowledged the now-32-year-old Kato's feelings of dissatisfaction and loneliness brought about by his frequent bouncing from one temporary job to the next, and also the emotional harassment he experienced on the Internet forum he frequented. Nevertheless, the court could find no room for lenience in light of the premeditation shown in renting the truck, purchasing knives on June 6, and posting Internet messages about his plans to enact violence using them.

Sakurai also highlighted the "atrocious" methods by which the attack was carried out, which included waiting until just after Akihabara's Chuo-dori thoroughfare was closed to traffic and became a pedestrian space at noon before driving the truck into the crowds, therein insuring as much loss of human life as possible. In the end, the court concluded that it "must confirm the punishment of death" for the indiscriminate murder and injury of the victims.

Mamoru Miura, Trial Division Director of the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office, voiced his approval of the decision, calling it the "appropriate" judgment for a crime of such severity. Elsewhere, Hiroshi Yuasa, a 61-year-old cab driver who was stabbed by Kato but survived the attack, called it "the obvious decision," adding that he hopes Kato spends his remaining days thinking about the weight of his actions and what it means for human beings to live and die.

Specific details regarding Kato's execution, such as its date and time, have yet to be released.

http://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/02/04/death-penalty-upheld-for-man-convicted-of-killing-seven-in-2008-akihabara-murder-spree/
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

turboprinz

Japan executes two inmates, including one who appealed for a retrial
Jul 13, 2017

Japan hanged two death-row inmates Thursday morning, including a man convicted of multiple murders who had reportedly been seeking a retrial, the Justice Ministry said.

Masakatsu Nishikawa, one of the two executed prisoners, had filed an appeal for a retrial. Nishikawa, 61, was convicted of murdering four female bar managers in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, in 1991.

The other executed inmate was Koichi Sumida, 34, who was sentenced to death in February 2013 by the Okayama District Court for killing his former colleague, Misa Kato, 27, a temp staff worker on Sept. 30, 2011.

Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda ordered the executions, which were the 18th and 19th carried out since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in December 2012.

The previous execution, the first ordered by Kaneda, was carried out last November, when a man was hanged for killing two women in Kumamoto Prefecture.

Kaneda told a news conference following the 2016 execution that the punishment was meted out for "an extremely cruel case in which the precious lives of the victims were taken for selfish purposes. I gave the order after careful consideration."

In October 2016, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations issued a declaration calling for the abolition of capital punishment and the introduction of life sentences without parole by 2020.

Kaneda has expressed opposition to the idea, saying, "A majority of Japanese citizens believe the death penalty is inevitable against heinous crimes."

According to human rights organization Amnesty International, 141 countries legally or effectively abolished capital punishment as of the end of 2016. In 2016, 23 countries or regions, including Japan, executed inmates.

Amnesty protested against the execution of the two inmates later Thursday.

"Cautious examination was necessary under the capital punishment system, as a nation takes away people's lives," Amnesty said in a statement, referring to the case of Nishikawa, who had filed a plea for a retrial. "For fair judgment, an opportunity for retrial should be secured," it said.

Addressing Sumida's situation, Amnesty pointed out that his dropping the case automatically led to the ruling. "Under the current system, even if the case has a problem in the process of investigation and indictment, the problem is overlooked when the suspect withdraws the case," the organization continued. "The execution (of the two inmates) lacks a view to secure the right for fair judgment."

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/13/national/crime-legal/japan-hangs-two-inmates-including-one-sought-retrial/#.WWqKw1Fpw-U
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

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