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Japan: The death penalty: a cruel, inhuman and arbitrary punishment

, Index number: ASA 22/003/1995

Nine people have been executed in Japan in the past two years. Almost 60 others, including three women, await execution in conditions of detention which sometimes amount to torture or ill-treatment. This document describes the legal provisions governing the use of the death penalty in Japan. It outlines AI's concerns about the death penalty in general and summarizes arguments which have been made in recent years by abolitionists in Japan. It describes the cases of 10 prisoners who face execution or have been executed. Some of them may have been convicted unfairly. Four tables are appended: a list of prisoners under finalized sentence of death; a list of executions 1984-1994; number of defendants sentenced to death by courts of first instance, 1981-1992; and homicides: reported cases, sentences and death sentences 1981-1992.

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