Texas | A Dangerous Man. At 18, Billy Joe Wardlow took a man’s life. Nearly 30 years later, the state still wants his.

Like any place humans gather, death row has a culture. Billy Wardlow says it's different in many ways from general population. One is in how new inmates are treated. "In [general population], the guys around you would try to find some way to exploit you," Wardlow said. "Death row, with a few exceptions, will often extend a hand of friendship to the 'new boot' so they can get on their feet ... Most of us get together and let each other know what we can send to the new guy."
One of the cherished myths of those who support the death penalty is that it is reserved for the “worst of the worst,” those beyond redemption.
Wardlow typically sends writing materials, food, clothes, and hygiene products. Recently, after receiving some of these items, a new inmate asked Wardlow what he owed him. "I told him to remember how guys helped him when he saw someone else new," Wardlow said. "Pay it forward, as the saying goes."
Sending gifts is one thin…

Japan Top Court Backs Lighter Sentence for Indiscriminate Killer

Gallows trapdoor, Tokyo Detention Center
Osaka, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court upheld on Monday a high court ruling that overturned a death penalty and gave an indefinite term to an unemployed man for killing two pedestrians in downtown Osaka some seven years ago.

The man, Kyozo Isohi, 44, successively stabbed Shingo Minamino, then 42, and Toshi Sasaki, then 66, to death on a street in the Minami area in the southwestern Japan city on June 10, 2012, according to rulings by Osaka district and high courts.

In the district court trial under the lay judge system, Isohi was sentenced to death. But the high court handed down the lighter sentence on the grounds that he was suffering from auditory hallucinations and that only two people were killed without advance planning.

The prosecution as well as the defense side appealed the high court ruling to the Supreme Court.

The top Court's First Petty Bench, presided by Justice Hiroshi Koike, dismissed both appeals, fixing the life sentence.

Japan Top Court Backs Indefinite Term for Killer of Girl

Tokyo, July 3 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court has upheld a high court ruling for an indefinite prison term given to a man who killed a six-year-old girl in Kobe, the capital of Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan, in 2014.

The top court's First Petty Bench made the decision on Monday, turning down an appeal by public prosecutors who demanded capital punishment for the man, Yasuhiro Kimino, 52. 

The ruling is thus set to be finalized.

In March 2017, Osaka High Court overrode the death sentence issued in March 2016 against the man in a lay judge trial at Kobe District Court, and instead gave him an indefinite prison term.

This is the fourth case in which the Supreme Court has upheld a high court ruling that overturned a death sentence handed down in a citizen judge trial at a district court.

The five justices at the First Petty Bench agreed that it cannot be said that a death penalty is unavoidable for Kimino in light of prudence and fairness, noting that the murder was not well planned and that Kimino had not committed a similar crime before.

Source: nippon.com, Staff, December 2, July 3, 2019

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

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