JAPAN: JUSTICE MINISTRY TO NOTIFY VICTIMS OF DEATH ROW EXECUTIONS
|The Justice Ministry of Japan
October 22, 2020:
The Justice Ministry on 21 October 2020 introduced a system in which the executions of death row inmates are reported to victims of criminal cases via document or phone if they wish. (Sources: Japan Times, 21/10/2020)
To make such notifications possible, the existing mechanism to inform people of the results of criminal trials, the scheduled dates of inmates’ releases from prison, the dates when they were released and other information was expanded.
Victims and their relatives, as well as people effectively regarded as relatives, such as those who were engaged or in common-law marriage with the victims, and attorneys will be informed of the executions and the dates and places where the capital punishment was carried out.
They will also be informed if inmates die due to reasons other than execution, such as illness.
A notification via phone will be made before the justice minister announces the execution at a news conference. Such notification will be mailed on the day of the execution.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office will give the victims’ side necessary documents for receiving an execution notice when the results of trials are made known.
For cases for which the death sentences were finalized before 21 October, an execution notice can be received through the submission of related application forms available on the ministry’s website.
Previously, the ministry and the prosecutor’s office notified the victims’ side of death row executions depending on circumstances for individual cases.