Thursday, October 11, 2012

Act to End the Death Penalty in Japan


This came across my desk this morning. I am completely against the death penalty simply because humans make mistakes. As humans that means some people make mistakes in committing crimes and then others make mistakes in judging crimes.

We are humans, we all make mistakes. Usually when we make mistakes, we can atone for our errors. 

The problem with the death penalty is that there have been far too many cases where people have been wrongfully executed. In that case, there is no going back; there is no atonement.

Today is World Day Against the Death Penalty!

2011 was the first year in two decades that Japan chose not to execute any prisoners. But earlier this year the country took an alarming step backwards under former Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa, who ordered the immediate execution of three prisoners on 29 March. You responded immediately, calling on the Minister to reconsider his decision to place the country back in the minority of those still routinely executing – thank you.

Unfortunately the executions continued under the next Justice Minister, Makoto Taki, who signed death warrants for four people during the four months he was in post – including 65 year-old Sachiko Eto. Less than two weeks ago, Sachiko became the first woman in 15 years to be hanged by the Japanese state. Seven dead so far this year – end executions in Japan

Now Hakamada Iwao and 130 others on death row are at immediate risk once again, as Keishu Tanaka takes on the role of Justice Minister. We need to send a clear, international message to Minister Tanaka, from the very start of his time in power: tell him there’s an alternative to signing execution warrants

The death penalty is the ultimate cruel and irreversible punishment. It doesn’t deter crime. It doesn’t leave room for doubt.

Please join me today in asking Japan’s new Justice Minister to join the growing international trend towards abolition, by refraining from signing any execution warrants.Take action before it’s too late

Thank you,
Kim Manning-Cooper signature
Kim Manning-Cooper

Death Penalty Campaign Manager

P.S. As well as calling for an end to all executions in Japan, please also take action on behalf of Hakamada Iwao. His 44-year ordeal on death row has left him with serious mental health problems, described by one psychiatrist as ‘institutional psychosis’. In addition, new DNA evidence which will be analysed by the District Court in Shizuoka this month could reinforce his appeal for a retrial – as well as supporting Hakamada’s claims that he did not commit the crime for which he was sentenced to death in 1968. Call for a retrial and a stay of execution for Hakamada


Anonymous said...

"...he was sentenced to death in 1968."

That's as long as I've been alive! That's cruel.
Barbaric even.

- clark

Marc Sheffner said...

Thanks for spreading the word.

Andy "In Japan" said...

People make mistakes, but government prosecutors often intentionally try to frame the innocent. They hide exculpatory evidence and they lie, to further their political careers. In America, the prosecutors can commit any crime while on the job and they are above the law, exempt from being charged with malfeasance. It's probably about the same in Japan. Let's not let government murderers kill people.

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