JAPAN. SERIAL KILLER MIYAZAKI DECRIES HANGING IN LETTERS TO MAGAZINE EDITOR
June 6, 2006: Tsutomu Miyazaki, due to be hanged for killing four young girls in 1988 and 1989, proposed that the death penalty be carried out with drugs instead of the scaffold, a magazine editor who received letters from the convict said.
Miyazaki, 43, wrote to Tsukuru monthly magazine's chief editor Hiroyuki Shinoda that "Death by hanging is cruel" and that "Drugs must be used for execution," Shinoda said. Shinoda, who had exchanged letters with the inmate for years, said he had taken the letters received after the death penalty was finalized in February as a sign that Miyazaki began to understand his situation.
"One gets driven into the depths of fear in the course of falling after the footboard is removed," he wrote in one of the letters in reference to the hangman's drop, adding, "It constitutes a disregard for human rights."
Miyazaki also wrote that it was cruel of prison staff to terrify convicts by informing them of their execution on the day itself, and said that convicted murders should be given drugs that render them unconscious and stop their hearts, because "Law prohibits cruel forms of punishment."
If drugs were used, convicts could have room to reflect on what they had done and possibly end up expressing remorse or apologizing for their crimes, he said. The top court ruled in January that Miyazaki abducted and killed four girls aged between 4 and 7 in Tokyo and neighbouring Saitama Prefecture "to satisfy his own sexual desire and appetite to own videotapes with footage of corpses," a decision finalized February 2 when it rejected an objection filed by the defence council. (Sources: Kyodo, 06/06/2006)