[JURIST] Japanese officials executed three death row inmates Friday and publicly disclosed their identities for the first time under a new policy that the Justice Ministry of Japan [official website] says is designed to increase understanding about the death penalty. Previously only the number of prisoners executed and the time of their execution was made publicly available, but victims' families and rights groups had pressed for more information to be released. The three inmates executed by hanging Friday - Seiha Fujima, Hiroki Fukawa, and Noboru Ikemoto - were all convicted murderers. AP has more.
Earlier this year, the Japanese national bar association called for a moratorium on the death penalty [press release, in Japanese; JURIST report] until new safeguards are enacted to prevent wrongful executions based on dubious evidence. The Federation of Bar Associations [group website] said that flaws in the justice system create a high risk for condemning innocent lives.