JAPAN: MANY DEATH ROW INMATES ON MEDS
December 30, 2011: Nearly half of death row inmates in Japan are on full-time medication for mental stress, the Justice Ministry said.
A ministry official said 56 of 124 inmates on death row have complained of psychological symptoms such as insomnia and hallucinations and have been continuously treated with drugs, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
Such symptoms can occur because of confinement in closed spaces for a long period of time, and since some inmates have been detained for more than 30 years it is suspected the symptoms are the result of their lengthy detention, experts said.
Under Japanese law, if a death row inmate is diagnosed as insane, the justice minister will order the suspension of the execution.
However, a high-ranking ministry official has said no inmates currently on death row have been so diagnosed.
"As far as we could tell, there are no death row inmates who are insane," the official said. (Sources: UPI, 30/12/2011)