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January 29, 2009

Execution news and notes from Japan and Texas

This morning brings executions news from both the national and international new desks.

From the AP, "Texas executes former security guard for killing four":

Texas executed a former Houston security guard Wednesday for gunning down four people, including his ex-girlfriend and her two small children, during an October 1996 shooting frenzy.  Virgil Martinez, 41, was condemned for killing 27-year-old Veronica Fuentes; her children, 5-year-old Joshua and 3-year-old Casandra; and an 18-year-old neighbor, John Gomez, in Alvin, just south of Houston.

Martinez was the fourth Texas inmate executed this year and the first of two on consecutive nights this week in the nation's most active death penalty state.

From CNN, "Japan executes four death-row inmates":

Japan executed four convicted killers on death row on Thursday, the government said, marking the first set of executions in the country since October 2008.

All four men were hanged, Japan's primary method of execution, the Justice Ministry said.  The ministry identified the inmates as: 58-year-old Tadashi Makino, convicted of murdering four women in separate home invasion robberies; 44-year-old Yukinari Kawamura and 39-year-old Tetsuya Sato, both convicted of killing two women and burning their bodies in steel barrels; and 32-year-old Shojiro Nishimoto, convicted of murdering four people in separate home invasion robberies....

Japan executed 15 inmates in 2008 and 95 inmates currently sit on Japan's death row.  Japan's rate of executions since August 2007 has been approximately one execution every two to three months.

January 29, 2009 at 08:28 AM | Permalink

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