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JAPAN: BAR FEDERATION TARGETS ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY FOR 1ST TIME

September 21, 2016: The Japan Federation of Bar Associations will propose for the first time to its members next month that they work for the abolition of capital punishment so that even the worst offenders can be rehabilitated.
The proposal comes at a time when more than two-thirds of nations have abolished the death penalty by law or in practice.
It also reflects concerns over miscarriage of justice, given that four death row inmates were exonerated in the 1980s through retrials and another death row inmate was freed in 2014 following 48 years behind bars after a court reopened his case. The decision has been appealed by prosecutors.
"If an innocent person or an offender who does not deserve to be sentenced to death is executed it is an irrevocable human rights violation," said Yuji Ogawara, a Tokyo-based lawyer who serves as secretary general of a JFBA panel on the death penalty.
The proposal will be submitted to the federation's annual human rights meeting on Oct. 7 in the central Japan city of Fukui for formal adoption as a JFBA declaration.
The federation is targeting abolition of the death penalty by 2020, when the U.N. Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will be held in Japan.
In its 2011 declaration, the federation urged the government to immediately start public debate on the death penalty, but stopped short of clearly calling for its abolition.
Since then, the federation has carried out more in-depth discussions on the issue by organizing symposiums, exchanging views with lawmakers, Justice Ministry officials, journalists and diplomats as well as those in religious circles.
It has also sent delegations overseas to research penal systems in countries including Britain, South Korea, Spain and the United States.
"There are still lawyers who support the death penalty, but I think we have developed an environment that enables us to seek its abolition," said Ogawara, who was involved in drafting the proposal.
As an alternative to the death penalty, the federation proposes whole life sentences without parole should considered as one option.
But even if whole life sentences without parole are given, there should be scope for subsequently reviewing the sentence if an offender has truly been rehabilitated, as it would be inhumane to allow no possibility of such inmates ever being released, it says.
Those who commit crimes, in many cases, are the socially disadvantaged who could be rehabilitated with appropriate approaches, Ogawara said. "The penal system should contribute to promoting social reintegration of offenders, rather than satisfying the desire for retribution."
It is also important to enhance assistance measures for crime victims and their bereaved families, the JFBA says in the proposal, stressing the need to provide continued support to them "as the primary responsibility of society as a whole." (Sources: Kyodo, 21/09/2016)

IRAN: MAN ARRESTED TWO WEEKS AGO HANGED IN PUBLIC
SAUDI ARABIA: THREE PRISONERS EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING, MURDER
IRAN: EIGHT PRISONERS INCLUDING WOMAN EXECUTED ON DRUG CHARGES
INDONESIA: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER GANG RAPE
DEATH PENALTY UPHELD FOR CHINA ARSONIST
IRAN: EIGHT PRISONERS EXECUTED ON MURDER AND MOHAREBEH CHARGES
PAKISTAN: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY FOR MENTALLY ILL MAN
IRAN: SEVEN PRISONERS HANGED FOR DRUG RELATED OFFENSES
IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN CALLS FOR THE RELEASE OF THE ACTIVIST NARGES MOHAMMADI
SAUDI ARABIA: ETHIOPIAN EXECUTED FOR MURDERING A CHILD
VIETNAM: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
LEBANON: MILITARY COURT SENTENCES MAWLAWI, MANSOUR TO DEATH
SUDAN: COURT CONDEMNS 18 TRIBESMEN TO DEATH
IRAN: FIVE EXECUTED ON DRUG CHARGES
EGYPT: 7 PEOPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR POLICEMAN KILLING
KENYA: HIGH COURT FINDS MANDATORY DEATH SENTENCE UNCONSTITUTIONAL
SOUTH SUDAN: DOZENS OF SOLDIERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
MALAYSIA: CANNY ONG'S MURDERER HANGED
CHINESE PREMIER LI KEQIANG DEFENDS USE OF DEATH PENALTY
FIELD POLL: CALIFORNIA DEATH PENALTY REPEAL LEADS
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED IN PUBLIC AT FOOTBALL STADIUM
CHINA: FORMER FUJIAN VICE GOVERNOR STANDS TRIAL FOR GRAFT
VIETNAM: 9 SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR HEROIN TRAFFICKING
SUDAN: TRIAL TO RESUME FOR CHRISTIAN PASTORS WHO COULD FACE DEATH PENALTY
SIERRA LEONE TO REINTRODUCE DEATH PENALTY AS VIOLENT CRIMES SPIKE
INDIA: SUPREME COURT MOVES AWAY FROM DEATH PENALTY
PAKISTAN STAYS EXECUTION OF MENTALLY ILL MAN
IRAN: PRISONER EXECUTED ON DRUG RELATED CHARGES
NIGERIA: MAN WHO MURDERED WIFE SENTENCED TO DEATH IN JIGAWA STATE
JAPAN: DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD FOR KILLER OF FIVE

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IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME
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  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK  
  SOMALIA - DEATH PENALTY AND TERRORISM  
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