High court rejects disclosure of design drawing of execution chamber

July 30th 2008

TOKYO —

The Tokyo High Court on Tuesday rejected a request by an Osaka lawyer that the state disclose a drawing of the death chamber at the Osaka detention house, upholding a lower court ruling. Presiding Judge Tatsuki Inada said, “As it is a detailed and precise design drawing, its disclosure will make it easier to help death row inmates break away or for outside people to break them out.”

The plaintiff, Tomoyoshi Emura, asked the court to rescind the state’s decision in 2004 not to disclose the drawing, compiled by the Justice Ministry in 1965, which shows the allocations of each room and gateway as well as the thickness of the walls. In January this year, the Tokyo District Court rejected the suit, saying the disclosure may affect the mental states of death row inmates and will cause trouble in the execution process.