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July 28, 2009

Japan continues its recent stepped-up pace for executions

ALeqM5i1rkN-jQHPveqLsh_FqosDm29W3w As detailed in this news report, which is headlined "Japan executes three for multiple murders," the one other major industrial nation with the death penalty has been stepping up its pace of executions in recent years.  Here are details from the article:

Japan on Tuesday hanged three inmates convicted of multiple murders including a Chinese national and a middle-aged man who found his victims through an Internet suicide site, the justice minister said.

The government identified the condemned as Hiroshi Maeue, 40, Yukio Yamaji, 25, and Chinese national Chen Detong, 41, who had killed three of his compatriots and wounded three more Chinese people.

All three men had committed "grave and cruel" crimes and "taken precious lives with very selfish motives," Justice Minister Eisuke Mori said after the sentences were carried out in Tokyo and the western city of Osaka.

Maeue, executed in Osaka, killed three people including a 14-year-old in 2005 after he got to know them separately through an Internet website where people contemplating ending their lives meet to make suicide pacts. Maeue arranged to meet his victims under the pretense they would jointly commit suicide through carbon monoxide poisoning. He then lured them into a van in a parking lot, tied their hands and feet and choked them to death. He confessed to deriving sexual pleasure from watching people suffocate.

Yamaji, also executed in Osaka, raped and then stabbed to death two sisters, stole their money and set fire to their apartment in 2005. Chen, the Chinese national, was executed in Tokyo for killing three of his compatriots and injuring three more in Kawasaki, southwest of Tokyo, in 1999.

Japan, which executed four convicted murderers in January, is the only major industrial nation other than the United States to impose the death penalty.  Capital punishment is overwhelmingly supported by the public in Japan, which has one of the world's lowest crime rates.

But Japan has regularly come under fire from the European Union and campaigners over its use of the death penalty, especially its practice of hanging inmates without any prior warning for them or their families.... Despite the criticism, conservative governments have stepped up the pace of executions.  Last year Japan hanged 15 death-row inmates, the highest number since 1975, when the country executed 17 people.

July 28, 2009 at 02:57 AM | Permalink


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90% of us will have a rough dying process, but none of us will know the date. That lack of date is a kindness. The set date in the US is the sole valid cruelty of the US death penalty, and it violates the Eighth Amendment. No abolitionist has ever made that argument. That forbearance shows they are not sincerely interested in preventing cruelty, just in lawyer make work and rent seeking.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 28, 2009 5:45:12 AM

I wish we could get the job done in just 5 years. Way to go Japan!

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jul 28, 2009 11:22:37 AM

Meanwhile, South Korea plans to pardon 1.5 million of its 50 million citizens in connection with "economic crimes" in a move that will exclude "businesmen" and "public officials" on August 15, aka Liberation Day, the traditional day for granting Presidential pardons in South Korea.


Posted by: ohwilleke | Jul 28, 2009 4:42:21 PM

Does anyone else find it disturbing that those that think that the DP is a good idea are the most against public discussion of it.

For instance, I rarely meet any member of the DP crowd that wants:
1. elected executioners;
2. public executions; or
3. democratically scheduled executions (held on dates and mandated mandated by statute).

Instead, Japan goes as far down the rabbit hole as possible and keeps executions a secret. States in the US (with a vibrant first amendment) don't allow televised coverage of the death ritual and fight to keep the identities of the state employees that do the killing secret.

At least in Iran and Saudi Arabia the executions are public and the executioners are known so that people can have an honest discussion about whether the death penalty is a good idea.

It seems that the pro-DP crowd is really afraid of what would happen if people started discussing DP with graphic aids.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jul 28, 2009 10:17:24 PM

S.cotus: It's 1L. You started it with an IQ of 300. The criminal cult indoctrination dropped it to living skills special ed level after you passed.

If you televise and openly discuss executions, you glamorize, publicize, and enshrine the murderer. Imitators want the same for themselves. And you increase the murder rate. That was what happened with the Scared Straight Program. It increased the delinquency rate, compared to that of a control group.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jul 28, 2009 11:18:19 PM

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