Regarding the April 18 Timeout section article, “Japan’s way of injudicial killing”: Death by hanging must be one of the most unpleasant ways to die. For any condemned inmate on Japan’s death row, the worst aspect of such a sentence is the almost sadistic dread that he must suffer every morning. How much horrid anticipation can any person suffer without going insane? For an inmate who was unfairly found guilty and who might ultimately be found innocent given enough time, the uncertainty of his execution date must be absolute torture.

If an innocent person was hanged, would the police and judicial authorities feel any remorse? Would they apologize to the victim’s family and offer monetary compensation? And why would any judicial official feel that the system would break down if the number of death row inmates was to exceed 100? Isn’t he being a wee bit arbitrary? There is no justification to set an execution date simply because there’s 101 inmates on death row. How absurd!

What sort of fiendish mind created a capital punishment system that would cause the condemned to dread each new dawn? How could any sane person find any “peace of mind” in such a ghoulish prison limbo?

The article stated, “Because the execution orders can come at any time, the inmates, in effect, live each day believing it is their last.” Well, on a positive note, isn’t that just popular wisdom in this day and age — to live each day as if it is indeed your last? How thoughtful! Never mind the inherent cruelty to the inmates on death row.

Are inmates who prove unruly or obnoxious more likely to receive an “early” execution date as opposed to those inmates who at least attempt to make a show of atonement and humility, which might be interpreted as further signs of guilt — regardless of the truth. Innocent men have served a lesser jail term after making a false confession in order to avoid the very real likelihood of being executed if found guilty.

name withheld

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