Posts tagged death row

Hakamada Iwao

In Japan, a prisoner on death row wakes up every morning not knowing if he will be executed that day. The prisoner doesn’t know his execution date until the morning it is to be carried out. His family only finds out after the execution has already taken place. Hakamada Iwao has been on death row for 40 years. 28 of those years have been spent in solitary confinement. He now suffers from mental illness. The basis for his conviction in 1968 was a confession extracted after 20 days of intensive… Read More

More mindless killing

To continue for a moment the theme of senseless killing for squalid and trivial ends, I’m reading a book of essays by Texas Death Row inmate Gene Wilford Hathorn. He’s been on the Row for 21 years now, and has watched 250 people go to their deaths. In the first essay, he tells how the 24-year-old man in the cell next door (a 17-year-old at the time of his crime) has petitioned the dental department to extract a health tooth, partly as an excuse to leave the cell, and partly… Read More