In early August I (Michael Fox) visited Masumi Hayashi, condemned to death by two courts for allegedly killing four people. The prosecution alleges Hayashi put arsenic into a curry served at a summer festival. The cases hinges on circumstantial evidence and media frenzy. This was my first visit with a condemned death row prisoner. After the visit, Hayashi sent me the following letter. (Translated from the Japanese).

2007 August 22

Professor Michael Fox

Thank you so much for coming to see me, despite your busy schedule, in the midst of the hot season on August 6th. Seeing you in a vibrant red shirt and wearing a bracelet and necklace on your first visit really brought an invigorated "Hope" and a "Smile" to my 9 year birdcage existence. It was a very happy visit for me. Sensei, please lend me your strength. Please let your students know about the Wakayama Curry Incident, Masumi Hayashi, and the truth of this trial.

August 13
I received your letter and the article "The Attorney Yasuda Arrest: Criminal and Political Considerations" which you sent on the 9th. Thanks so much.

August 27
Seeing you will be in America, please do send me a picture or a postcard.

Living in this 2~3 tatami sized birdcage, whenever I receive something with scenery from the outside, a picture with flowers or a postcard, I feel very "Happy."

In regard to the High Court's decision (confirming my death sentence), Mori Sanjusaburo, 91 year old scholar of law and advisor to the Japan Constitutional Association has written a brief. His opinion will be carried in the newsletter.

As you know, my Support Association will be holding a symposium in Wakayama in December. I hope you and your students can attend.

I will continue to fight on with "Hope" and a "Smiles."

I hope to lose some weight by the next time we meet.

Masumi Hayashi.