In the Bible Belt, Christmas Isn’t Coming to Death Row

IMPORTANT NOTICE: It seems that Google made a few changes to the way images are shown on Google-powered blogs. Pictures and links to social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) will no longer be loaded if you are using an ad blocker. Please be advised that no commercial activity whatsoever (ads, links, etc.) is conducted by DPN on their website. Ads, if any shown, are selected and inserted on this page by Google, not by DPN. Disable your ad blocker if pictures and/or videos are no longer shown on DPN pages. Please note that this may not apply to all browsers.

When it comes to the death penalty, guilt or innocence shouldn’t really matter to Christians.  

NASHVILLE — Until August, Tennessee had not put a prisoner to death in nearly a decade. Last Thursday, it performed its third execution in four months.
This was not a surprising turn of events. In each case, recourse to the courts had been exhausted. In each case Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, declined to intervene, though there were many r…

Photos flash spotlight on everyday lives of prisoners in Japan

Tokyo Detention Center
A weeklong photo exhibition being held next month will aim to shed light on the everyday lives of inmates of Japanese prisons and promote public awareness about the challenges the country's criminal justice system faces.

Around 60 photos, which were taken by 6 photography majors of Tokyo Polytechnic University with permission of the Justice Ministry, will be displayed at Hibiya Library & Museum in Hibiya Park, central Tokyo, from April 1 to 7.

The students visited 6 penal detention facilities in and around the capital to take photos of the daily routines of prisoners and correctional officers as part of the Japan Social Justice Project, which was initiated by a Japanese human rights group and the University of Reading in Britain.

Maiko Tagusari, secretary general of the Center for Prisoners' Rights, says the project promotes public awareness about the methods of criminal rehabilitation as well as whether capital punishment should be maintained or terminated, among other issues.

"It was a rare opportunity for ordinary citizens to take photos from inside prisons so people will know what prisons are, and we expect the photos will inspire the public to start serious debates on how the criminal justice should be," said Tagusari, who is also a Tokyo-based lawyer.

The upcoming photo exhibition, which offers free admission, will mark the launch of "CrimeInfo" -- a website for the social justice project which is subsidized by the European Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Tagusari said.

CPR, which receives inquiries from inmates, has worked for more than 20 years for improving their circumstances.

On the website, the CPR and the British university plan to introduce statistics on the numbers of executions or parolees, as well as other various documents, such as books, research papers and news stories for the use of researchers and journalists.

"We will also provide file footage relating to the criminal justice system and records of the justice minister's press conferences," Tagusari said.

The file footage is expected to be used as educational material, particularly for high school students to deepen their understanding about Japan's criminal justice system.

Seiya Matsumura, a senior, was among the six who photographed the prisons. Most of his photos thus far have focused on day laborers and people living in severely ostracized "buraku" districts as well as the northeastern Japan areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster.

"Before visiting the prisons, I thought they would be a place like they're depicted on TV and in the movies, under stone-cold surroundings with many former delinquents," Matsumura, 22, said.

"But at a female prison, for example, an old woman was walking with the support of prison guards, and it made me wonder if she really committed a crime and if it is really a correctional facility. I confused the prison with a welfare institution."

Matsumura said he noticed the prisons were insufficient in terms of adequate standards of living, such as providing proper heating and cooling facilities.

"While it is a punishment for them to have their freedom taken away, they should be guaranteed the same level of living conditions as the general public even at prisons," Matsumura said. "Their food, however, looked better than what college students living alone like me eat."

His photos include a community cell, a carpenter shop and female prisoners being trained to cut hair.

The URL of the upcoming website of Japan Social Justice Project is http://crimeinfo.jp/

The website will grow as the project members will continuously upload further information to it.

Source:  Japan Today, Keiji Hirano, March 28, 2018

⚑ | 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!

"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Iran: Man executed in public, with children watching

Ohio board rejects condemned man’s request for mercy

Cruel, Not Unusual: Iran Prosecutor Backs Off Hint Of Fewer 'Divine' Amputations

French drugs suspect facing possible death penalty escapes Indonesian jail

Proposed South Carolina bill would make electrocution main method of execution for death penalty inmates

Third US trial finds Spaniard guilty of murdering 3

The toll of 50 years on death row

Death by Fentanyl: Should the Powerful Opioid Be Used in Lethal Injections?

Iran: Three Men Hanged in Public

Ohio Parole Board member quits, calls agency toxic and secretive