FEATURED POST

America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

Image
With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Rights group renews criticism of death penalty in Japan

Japan executed 3 people last year and imposed 3 new death sentences in what Amnesty International has also described as a secretive system.

A global report on death sentences and executions for 2016 cited the executions last March of Yasutoshi Kamata, 75, and Junko Yoshida, 56, and the November execution of Kenichi Tajiri, 45. All 3 were hanged, with Yoshida the 1st woman to be executed in Japan since 2012.

The figure was unchanged from 2015, when 3 prisoners were also hanged.

In its report, Amnesty said Japan imposed 3 new death sentences in 2016 and 141 people remained on death row as of the end of the year. Of these, 129 had their death sentence finalized, it said.

The human rights group also renewed its criticism of Japan's practice of executing people with mental or intellectual disabilities, while highlighting that the country and the U.S. were the only members of the Group of 7 developed nations to carry out executions.

Amnesty said in November that "secretive executions can't hide the fact that Japan is on the wrong side of history when it comes to the death penalty."

"Executions in Japan are shrouded in secrecy with prisoners typically given only a few hours' notice, but some may be given no warning at all. 

Their families, lawyers and the public are usually notified about the execution only after it has taken place," it said.

Last October, the Japanese Federation of Bar Associations formally issued a declaration stating its opposition to the death penalty and calling for authorities to abolish the punishment by 2020 and replace it with life imprisonment.

The move set the legal profession against the government, which has executed 17 people since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in 2012.

Source: Japan Times, April 11, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Texas executes Christopher Young

Ohio executes Robert Van Hook

The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

Execution date pushed back for Texas 7 escapee after paperwork error on death warrant

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Indonesia: Gay couple publicly whipped after vigilante mob drags them out of beauty salon

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

Saudi Arabia executes seven people in one day