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Japan Capital Punishment News - Page 14
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Thread: Japan Capital Punishment News

  1. #131
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    Death penalty sought for ex-nurse over murders of 3 patients

    Kyodo News

    Prosecutors on Friday demanded the death penalty for a former nurse, accused of killing three patients by putting a disinfectant into their intravenous drips at a Yokohama hospital near Tokyo in 2016.

    Ayumi Kuboki, 34, has admitted to premeditatedly mixing an antiseptic solution into the drip bags, causing the patients to die, in a high-profile lay judge trial at the Yokohama District Court.

    Prosecutors pointed out that while the defendant exhibited traits of autism, she was fully competent to stand trial, and the disorder did not affect her decision-making or play a part in her carrying out the crimes.

    The defense counsel argued in the trial that Kuboki had a diminished capacity at the time of the crimes brought on by schizophrenia.

    According to the indictment, Kuboki killed three inpatients -- Sozo Nishikawa, 88, Asae Okitsu, 78, and Nobuo Yamaki, 88 -- at the erstwhile Oguchi Hospital, by injecting disinfectant into their IV drip bags in September 2016 with the intention of killing them.

    Prosecutors said Kuboki set the timing of the IV drips so that the patients would die after she was already off duty to avoid having to deal with the families over their deaths.

    "She acted very selfishly...although she was in a position to protect people who are socially vulnerable," prosecutors said.

    Ahead of the prosecutors' arguments, Nishikawa's daughter gave a statement before the court.

    "I can hardly think the defendant felt remorse over what she did. I want her to atone for her crimes with death," she said, referring to the defendant who repeatedly responded, "I do not remember," during questioning.

    https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2...-patients.html

  2. #132
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    Japan death row inmates sue over 'inhumane' same-day notification

    By Elaine Lies
    Reuters

    Two death row inmates in Japan are suing the country over how prisoners are notified only hours before the death penalty is carried out, demanding change and seeking compensation for the impact of the "inhumane" practice, their lawyer said on Friday.

    Capital punishment in Japan is conducted by hanging, and the practice of not informing inmates of the timing until shortly before execution has long been decried by international human rights organisations for the stress it places on prisoners, for whom any day could be their last.

    On Thursday, in what is believed to be a first, two prisoners sentenced to death filed a suit in a district court in the western city of Osaka saying the practice was illegal because it did not allow prisoners time to file an objection, demanding the practice be changed and asking for 22 million yen ($193,594) in compensation, lawyer Yutaka Ueda said.

    "Death row prisoners live in fear every morning that that day will be their last. It's extremely inhumane," he added.

    "Japan is really behind the international community on this."

    The United States and Japan are the only industrialised democracies that still carry out the death penalty, and human rights groups such as Amnesty International have demanded change for decades.

    Ueda said there is no law mandating that prisoners can only be told of their execution hours before it takes place, and that the practice actually goes against Japan's criminal code.

    "The central government has said this is meant to keep prisoners from suffering before their execution, but that's no explanation and a big problem, and we really need to see how they respond to the suit," he added.

    "Overseas, prisoners are given time to contemplate the end of their lives and mentally prepare. It's as if Japan is trying as hard as possible not to let anybody know."

    There are currently 112 people sentenced to death in Japan, the Justice Ministry said, though none have been executed for nearly two years. Public opinion polls regularly show a vast majority of the population in favour of capital punishment, which is usually imposed in connection with murders.

    Ueda said he hopes the lawsuit could spark discussion in Japan about the issue, though this is not its main goal.

    "This system is badly mistaken - and we would like the public to turn their eyes to the issue," he added.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-p...ia-2021-11-05/
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  3. #133
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    Ex-nurse sentenced to life in jail over murder of 3 patients near Tokyo

    Kyodo News

    A Japanese court on Tuesday sentenced a former nurse to life in prison for killing three patients by putting a disinfectant into their intravenous drips at a Yokohama hospital near Tokyo in 2016.

    The Yokohama District Court concluded that a life sentence for Ayumi Kuboki, 34, who was found guilty of murdering the patients, was reasonable as she had shown remorse during the trial. Prosecutors had demanded the death penalty.

    However, Presiding Judge Kazunori Karei ruled Kuboki, who admitted to the murders, could be held responsible for the crimes as pointed out by the prosecutors, saying, "She committed such acts knowing they were unlawful."

    "She understands the huge gravity of the crimes, and even said in her final statement she wants to make amends with her own death," he said. "By having her face the weight of her guilt for the rest of her life, it is fair to have her back on the right track in life."

    Kuboki's defense counsel sought a life sentence, arguing the former nurse had a diminished capacity at the time of the crimes in September 2016 due to her suffering from schizophrenia.

    Meanwhile, the prosecutors said Kuboki exhibited traits of autism spectrum disorder but she was fully competent to stand trial and that it did not affect her decision-making or play a part in her crimes at the hospital, which had accepted terminally ill patients.

    According to the ruling, Kuboki intentionally killed three inpatients -- Sozo Nishikawa, 88, Asae Okitsu, 78, and Nobuo Yamaki, 88 -- at the institution formerly named Oguchi Hospital by introducing the antiseptic solution into their IV drip bags.

    During a hearing, Kuboki said, "In order to avoid being accused by family members if the patients died during my working hours, I made it appear so they had died while I was off duty."

    Kuboki said she had felt anxious about having to treat and communicate with patients and their families. Her father said in court that she had consulted her family about leaving the hospital about three months before the murders.

    She apologized to the family members of the three patients during the trial, which began last month.

    Following the ruling, a member of Nishikawa's family said, "I cannot accept it. The defendant has been allowed to live, but how will she make up for it?"

    Police launched a probe in September 2016 following the deaths, but it took them until July 2018 to arrest Kuboki as they struggled to find enough evidence. The fourth floor of the hospital, where the three patients had stayed, did not have any surveillance cameras.

    The hospital, which changed its name after the crimes, has been temporarily closed since 2019. It apologized again Tuesday for not preventing "such a horrific act in (a place) that should have protected patients."

    https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2...-patients.html

  4. #134
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    Japan hangs three death-row inmates in first executions since 2019

    The Japan Times

    Three death row inmates were hanged Tuesday, the Justice Ministry said, in Japan's first executions since December 2019 and first under the administration of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

    The three were identified as Yasutaka Fujishiro, 65, who killed seven of his relatives in Hyogo Prefecture in 2004, and Tomoaki Takanezawa, 54, and Mitsunori Onogawa, 44, who were convicted of killing two employees at two separate pachinko parlors in Gunma Prefecture in 2003.

    Following Tuesday's executions, the number of inmates sitting on death row in Japan stands at 107.

    The Kobe District Court sentenced Fujishiro to death in May 2009 and the decision was finalized in June 2015 after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal.

    Takanezawa and Onogawa, who also robbed one of their victims and stole money from one of the pachinko parlors, were sentenced to death by the Saitama District Court. The death penalty for Takanezawa was finalized in July 2005 after he withdrew his appeal, while Onogawa's sentence was finalized in June 2009 at the Supreme Court.

    After the executions, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara told reporters it is "not appropriate to abolish (the country's death penalty system) considering the current situation in which heinous crimes continue to occur."

    "Many Japanese think the death penalty is unavoidable in the case of extremely malicious crimes," Kihara said.

    More than two-thirds of countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice, according to Amnesty International.

    Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa, who ordered the executions, said at a separate news conference that he gave the order "after giving careful considerations again and again."

    When assuming his post in October, Furukawa said the death penalty cannot be avoided for someone who has committed a crime resulting in serous consequences.

    The executions were the first since Dec. 26, 2019, when a Chinese man on death row for the 2003 slaying of a family of four in Fukuoka Prefecture was put to death.

    Japan executed three inmates in 2019 and 15 in 2018 — including 13 from the Aum Shinrikyo cult that carried out the fatal 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.

    Executions are usually implemented long after sentencing, and always by hanging.

    Public support for capital punishment remains high despite international criticism, including from rights groups.

    For decades, authorities have told death row inmates they will be executed just hours before the procedure is carried out — a process that two inmates have argued is illegal and causes psychological distress. The pair are suing the government over the system, and are also seeking compensation of 22 million for the distress caused by living with uncertainty about their execution date.

    Documents and news archives show that Japan used to give death row inmates more notice, but stopped around 1975.

    In December 2020, Japan's top court overturned a ruling blocking the retrial of a man described as the world's longest-serving death row inmate, raising new hope for the now 85-year-old. Iwao Hakamada has lived under a death sentence for more than half a century after being convicted of robbing and murdering his boss, the man's wife and their two teenage children.

    But he and his supporters say he confessed to the crime only after an allegedly brutal police interrogation that included beatings, and that evidence in the case was planted.

    Worldwide, at least 483 people were executed last year in 18 countries, according to Amnesty International.

    That represents a drop of around a quarter from the year before, and fits a downward trend since 2015.

    The figure does not, however, include the "thousands" of executions believed to have been carried out in China, which keeps such data secret, along with North Korea and Vietnam.

    Japan and the United States are the only members of the G7 that still have the death penalty.

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/20...ecutions-2019/
    Last edited by Steven; 12-22-2021 at 06:15 AM.

  5. #135
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    For anyone interested, here’s a list of all people currently on death row in Japan, along with their information

    https://www.jiadep.org/resources/Chart-Shikei.html
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