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February 12 2008 | JAPAN

Japan

Seventy deputies propose a law project for a 4-years moratorium of executions

 
printable version

 The Japan Times         .

 Change death penalty to life without parole: Diet group

Kyodo News

A bipartisan group of lawmakers opposed to the death penalty has compiled a bill that would place a moratorium on executions as a step toward abolishing capital punishment, members of the group said.
The bill will feature introduction of life imprisonment without parole and establishment of investigative panels in both Diet chambers on the death penalty system, according to members of the Japan Parliamentary League Against the Death Penalty.
The group, headed by Shizuka Kamei, a lawmaker from Kokumin Shinto (New People's Party), hopes to submit the bill to the House of Councilors during the current Diet session.
If passed, the bill would go into force April 1, 2009, and executions would be suspended for four years through March 2013, during which the investigation panels would examine the current death penalty system and develop a new system for sentencing.
Under the current system, people sentenced to life in prison become eligible for parole after 10 years. Three prisoners with life sentences were released on parole in 2006, with their average time behind bars coming to 25 years.
The group, which is make up of about 70 death penalty opponents with Diet seats, wants the sentence of life without parole on the books so judges will give that sentence rather than capital punishment, members said.
The move comes before the introduction of the lay judge system in 2009, under which citizen judges will be involved in trials involving serious crimes for which the death penalty can be given.
A member of the group said that lifetime imprisonment may be preferred by some members of the public because they would not want to sentence someone to death.
Some of the group's members are in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Six inmates have been hanged since Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama assumed his post in September, despite the U.N. General Assembly's adoption of a resolution on Dec. 18 calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.
The lawmakers' group will start lobbying political parties soon to get support for the bill, members said.
In 2003, the group tried to submit a similar bill to the Diet but gave up because the ruling LDP opposed it. The LDP as a whole and the Justice Ministry are expected to oppose this bill as well.

_______________________

EFE

Legisladores nipones piden una moratoria para la pena de muerte

Tokio, 11 feb.- Legisladores nipones de varios partidos han elaborado un proyecto de ley que reclama una moratoria de cuatro años en la aplicación de la pena de muerte en Japón, con el fin de lograr su total erradicación, publica hoy el diario "Japan Times".
La propuesta pide la sustitución de la máxima pena en el sistema legal japonés por la cadena perpetua sin posibilidad de libertad condicional, según la Liga del Parlamento de Japón contra la Pena de Muerte.
El grupo, formado por unos 70 legisladores pertenecientes al gubernamental Partido Liberal Demócrata (PLD) y el opositor Nuevo Partido del Pueblo (NPP), pretende someter el texto a votación en la Dieta durante la actual sesión parlamentaria.
En caso de ser aprobado, entraría en vigor el 1 de abril de 2009, de manera que las ejecuciones previstas a partir de esa fecha se pospondrían hasta marzo de 2013.
No obstante, en Japón existe un alto grado de apoyo ciudadano a la aplicación de la pena de muerte, de alrededor del 80 por ciento para los crímenes crueles, y en 2003 ya se sometió a votación un texto similar que fue rechazado por la mayoría del partido governante.
Actualmente, la legislación japonesa permite la posibilidad de libertad condicional a partir de los diez años en prisión en caso de reclusos condenados a cadena perpetua.
Los promotores del texto consideran que, si el sistema penal nipón estableciese la posibilidad de cadena perpetua sin libertad condicional, los jueces optarían por ese castigo en lugar de la condena a la pena capital.
El grupo de legisladores someterán el proyecto a votación antes de la introducción del sistema de jurado previsto para 2009.
A pesar de que algunos de los legisladores autores del texto pertenecen al PLD, se espera que el partido gobernante y el ministro de Justicia nipón, Kunio Hatoyama, se opongan a la propuesta de reforma, según el "Japan Times".
Desde que Hatoyama tomó posesión de su cargo en septiembre se han llevado a cabo seis ejecuciones de presos en Japón.
Un total de 103 presos están en Japón en el "corredor de la muerte" a la espera de ser ajusticiados, algo que en este país se aplica siempre en la horca y sin aviso previo a los reos.
Japón, considerado un ejemplo de civilización, mantiene la pena capital ante la indiferencia de los medios de comunicación, las protestas de las ONG y el beneplácito ciudadano.

 

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