More Executions will Follow — Justice Minister Says

An execution chamber at the Tokyo Detention Center which was revealed in 2010 for the first time

Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa, talking about his recent decision  to execute three inmates, says that he will not hesitate to send more death row inmates to the gallows.

He stated that there is a broad support for death penalty in the Japanese society and as a justice minister he has a duty to issue executions. He emphasized that lay judge trials have resulted in death sentences and the majority of the population supports capital punishment in recent surveys.

His two predecessors had different views on execution, which resulted in a 20-month blank period of executions. Satsuki Eda, then Justice Minister expressed reservations in August 2011 that it is time to consider the issue. Ogawa’s immediate predecessor Hideo Hiraoka also emphasized the need for a national debate. Read more about Ogawa’s views on death penalty here.

Although Ogawa suggested that those death row inmates who are seeking retrial are unlikely to be executed, the standard for determining who will be executed is still unclear. Recently, it was revealed that there was an instance in 2004 where an inmate who was preparing to request a retrial became a candidate, and execution was averted at the last minute. Read more about this news here (in Japanese).

小川敏夫法相は、3月29日の死刑執行後、法務大臣としての職責として、今後も死刑を執行することを検討すると話した。法相は、裁判員裁判でも死刑が言い渡されていること、世論調査において死刑制度への支持が高いことを強調した。

再審請求中の死刑確定者については、執行の対象としないことも示唆された。しかし、2004年には、再審請求に向けて準備中の死刑確定者が死刑執行の候補者リストに入れられ、執行命令直前になって法務省が事実を確認し、候補者から除外したという事件があったことも最近明らかにされている(中国新聞2012年4月3日報道)。

2 responses to “More Executions will Follow — Justice Minister Says

  1. Pingback: Japan » inter | metapher

  2. Pingback: One More Reason to Worry about Executions in Japan | Wrongful Convictions Blog

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