Amnesty International has once again taken Japan to task for refusing to abolish the death penalty. Deputy director Rebecca Emery said that the data from the 2012 global death penalty statistics report shows Japan “going backwards” when the whole world is moving away from the “barbaric, medieval and cruel” practice.
Even though there was an 18 month hiatus on executions starting June 2010, Japan resumed the implementation of the death penalties last year. Since March 2012, 10 death row convicts have already been executed. Emery said they feel disheartened with Japan’s decision to carry out the executions because they thought the country was moving towards the right direction. In 1972, there were only 16 countries against capital punishment but now they’ve grown to 140 countries. She said it’s “one of the most significant human rights shifts in our generation”.
Amnesty campaigner Chiara Sangiorgio says the resumption is “shocking” since it occurred under a Democratic Party of Japan-led government. The DPJ at one point had a justice minister that was considering the proposal to abolish the death penalty. She adds that the regression could be traced to a “power play” in the parliament, when the DPJ was desperately trying to hold on to their positions. The current government under the Liberal Democratic Party has continued the trend, executing three inmates in February alone. Opinion polls show that majority of Japanese people still believe in keeping the death penalty, but Amnesty doubts the validity of these, citing that polls are often rigged to convince the public of maintaining the status quo.
The global death penalty statistics show that 682 executions were carried out in 2012, two more than in 2011. They also confirmed 1,722 newly imposed death sentences in 58 countries, 201 less than the year before. Salil Shetty, secretary-general of Amnesty International says that only 1 in 10 countries in the world carry out capital punishment, so the leaders of those countries that still do should ask themselves why they are still using a “cruel and inhumane” practice. Amnesty insists that there is no hard evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent to heinous crimes.
[ via The New Zealand Herald ]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan