Friday, 3 March 2006

Japan's death row hell

The Los Angeles Times has published a rare - and very revealing - glimpse into the harsh and cruel world of Japan’s death row, where prisoners can spend decades fearing the sound of footsteps outside their cell door. At any time, it can mark the sound of guards coming to take them to the gallows.

The story quotes a specialist at the Adult Correction Section of the Justice Ministry, who says this system is designed with the prisoners' welfare in mind. "We want to maintain the mental stability of those waiting for death. Emotionally, everybody wants them to face their last moments in peace."

The Japanese government goes to great length to shield its death penalty system from publicity and criticism, so this story is an important account of the country's death row.

Read the full story here.

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