Request for the Launch of a Nationwide Debate on the Ａbolition of the Death Penalty, Suspension of Executions, and Taking Immediate Measures to Prevent Miscarriages of Justice Leading to the Death Penalty
February 17, 2012
Japan Federation of Bar Associations
About the Request
The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (“JFBA”) prepared its “Request for the Launch of a Nationwide Debate on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, Suspension of Executions, and Taking Immediate Measures to Prevent Miscarriages of Justice Leading to the Death Penalty” dated February 17, 2012, and submitted it to the Minister of Justice on February 27, 2012.
Summary of the Request
- Information on the death penalty system and the operation thereof should be broadly publicized and made more accessible.
- Measures should be taken, namely, the setting up of an expert committee in the Ministry of Justice, in addition to the establishment of an investigatory panel in the Diet to examine issues surrounding the death penalty system in order to realize cross-society discussions (public debate) with regard to the abolition of the death penalty.
- Executions should be suspended for an indefinite period of time until cross-society discussions on the abolition of the death penalty have been exhausted through such measures as mentioned in 2. above.
- In order to prevent the occurrence of miscarriages of justice leading to the death penalty, the Japanese Government should immediately take the measures listed below:
- establish the right to a reappraisal of the evidence utilizing more reliable scientific methods
- guarantee confidential communications between death row inmates and their attorneys, etc.
- provide court-appointed attorneys for retrial appeals
- establish the suspensive effect of requests for retrial