Sunday, May 21, 2017

LaborNet TV program “The Death Penalty”: What does “a nation kills a person” mean?

In the United States, one of retentionist countries, the number of executions has decreased and discussions over the death penalty have heated up, as “executions of the innocent” were found one after another. On the other hand, in Japan, another retentionist country, although the Japan Federation of Bar Associations declared it would work for the abolition of capital punishment, the declaration did not attract much attention. Rather, death sentences have been handed down to even those who committed a capital offense when they were minors, as seen in the Ishinomaki (400km north of Tokyo) case that happened in 2010 where a juvenile murdered two girls, and his death sentence was confirmed in June 2016 with the involvement of lay judges. Why has the death penalty been retained in Japan despite that an increasing number of countries, totaling nearly two thirds of those around the world, have abolished capital punishment? This program focused on the fundamental issues of the death penalty – being a system that a nation kills a person and raising the question whether there is a human life that may be taken as such, while setting aside such issues as false accusation and deterrence effects. Two guests, OTA Masakuni and SAKAGAMI Kaori, who have been active in the issue of the death penalty for a long time, joined the program, referring also to what bereaved families and death row prisoners think about. (YAMAGUCHI Masanori) * Photo: Countries that carried out executions in 2016 (Source: Amnesty International)

レイバーネットTV放送 : 死刑制度を考える~「国が人を殺す」ということ

死刑存置国アメリカで近年、相次ぐ「無実の死刑」の発見から執行が減少し、 死刑をめぐる論議が活発化しています。一方、日本では昨年、日弁連が初めて死刑廃止を宣言しましたが、あまり大きな議論にはなりませんでした。それどころか2010年に起きた石巻事件で昨年6月、裁判員裁判対象となった少年事件で初めて死刑が確定するなど、死刑の適用範囲が拡大されています。死刑制度を廃止する国が年々増え、世界各国の約3分の2ですでに死刑が廃止されている中で、日本ではなぜ死刑がなくならないのでしょうか。今回の番組では、冤罪問題や犯罪抑止効果論などはとりあえず脇に置き、死刑が「国が人を殺す」という制度であること、それを踏まえて「殺してもいい命があるのか」という死刑制度の根源的な問題に焦点を絞り、これまで長年死刑問題に関わってこられたお二人(太田昌国さん・坂上香さん)をゲストに、被害者遺族の思い、死刑囚の表現などにも目を向けながら一緒に考えてみたいと思います。(山口正紀)  

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