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Jenny
801997.  Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:56 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Newly released documents show that top prison officials in California went begging to Arizona for a vital drug that is used in executing inmates on Death Row after its own supply ran out and then found an inappropriate form of words to express their gratitude when they got what they needed.

"You guys in AZ are life-savers,"
Scott Kernan, California's undersecretary for Corrections and Rehabilitation said in an email to his Arizona counterpart Charles Flanagan after taking delivery from him of a small amount of the knock-out drug sodium thiopental. "Buy you a beer next time I get that way."


http://wildwestprisons.blogspot.com/2010/12/thanks-for-lethal-injection-drugs-youre.html

 
suze
802004.  Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:19 pm Reply with quote

sjbodell wrote:
Of the 34 persons currently on death row, 26 committed their crimes before 31 March 1998.


A couple of those people have been on Death Row for more than thirty years. That, surely, is crueler and more unusual than actually executing the poor sods.

Why so long? Is it because the legal processes are still ongoing, or is it because they are never actually going to be executed? (And if the latter, why does not the Governor commute their sentences to life imprisonoment?)

 
sjb
802021.  Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:13 am Reply with quote

I believe I read somewhere that Kentucky, too, managed to procure three doses of sodium thiopental through the backdoor. Ah yes, here.

It's hard to say with individual cases. I know clemency has been granted from time to time. Actually, about Mr. White.... suze, who was the other 30+ years inmate you were thinking of?

Kentucky Democrats aren't generally as bothered by capital punishment as other Democrats. You never know what a Democratic governor, legislature, etc., will do here. It seems that the fellow who married my spousal unit and me, a Kentucky supreme court justice, is generally in favor of the death penalty though he is most indubitably a Democrat. ::shrug::

 
AlmondFacialBar
802029.  Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:57 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Quote:
Newly released documents show that top prison officials in California went begging to Arizona for a vital drug that is used in executing inmates on Death Row after its own supply ran out and then found an inappropriate form of words to express their gratitude when they got what they needed.

"You guys in AZ are life-savers,"
Scott Kernan, California's undersecretary for Corrections and Rehabilitation said in an email to his Arizona counterpart Charles Flanagan after taking delivery from him of a small amount of the knock-out drug sodium thiopental. "Buy you a beer next time I get that way."


http://wildwestprisons.blogspot.com/2010/12/thanks-for-lethal-injection-drugs-youre.html


Life savers, huh? Nice one!

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
suze
802249.  Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:37 am Reply with quote

sjbodell wrote:
suze, who was the other 30+ years inmate you were thinking of?


OK, so the second longest tenant of Kentucky's Death Row has been there a mere 28 years. (Although he'll have been in jail for thirty years this summer, but that includes time on remand.)

I discover that Florida has a 36-year resident in its Death Row. There have been serious doubts as to his mental capacity, so the chances are that he will never be executed. Quite why he remains on Death Row, you'd have to ask Florida. The longest ever stay on Death Row which did ultimately end with execution was 33 years, in Georgia.


sjbodell wrote:
Kentucky Democrats aren't generally as bothered by capital punishment as other Democrats.


Shame. Mind you, Barack Obama is pro-capital punishment too (to the extent that he criticized the Supreme Court's decision to rule capital punishment for rape unconstitutional).

The last President to have been openly anti-death penalty was, I think, Carter. And even that is a change of position; while he was Governor of Georgia, he signed the death penalty back into Georgia law after it had previously been abolished. The only person I can recall who made abolition of the death penalty a major plank of policy in a Presidential campaign was Michael Dukakis - and look what happened to him.


Then again, it's consistently shown that a majority of the public in Australia, Canada, and the UK - as well as in the USA - are in favour of capital punishment. In all three of those countries, its reintroduction is occasionally floated by politicians of the fringe far right, but it just isn't going to happen.

 
CB27
802274.  Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:04 pm Reply with quote

Wow, I hadn't seen Michael Dukakis' name for a long time, what an unfortunate candidacy that was, and a turning point IMO for US media in allowing the likes of Lee Atwater to get away with things that would have shocked even hardliners from the 1930s. Some of the things he got away with make the Woolas case look like a storm in a tea cup.

 
Ian Dunn
802842.  Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:48 am Reply with quote

To return to the subject of Japan, something quite interesting I've just learned is that Emperor Hirohito and his son (the reigning emperor) Akihito are both keen marine biologists.

Before he became emperor, Hirohito had his own private laboratory. After the war, Hirohito discovered several species of hydrozoa, and wrote several books and articles on his passion.

Akihito has a species of fish named after him, called exyrias akihito.

Source: Tofugu

 
Ian Dunn
822246.  Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:45 pm Reply with quote

As of April 2012, Kyoto Seika University will offer students Japan's first ever manga Ph.D.

Source: Anime News Network

 
Zebra57
822495.  Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:25 pm Reply with quote

The aboriginal people of Japan are the Ainu who now live on Hokkaido in the far north.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people

 
Kumabjorn
846436.  Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:08 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
The aboriginal people of Japan are the Ainu who now live on Hokkaido in the far north.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ainu_people


They are most likely a latter introduction into the Japanese Isles compared with the Yamato Japanese. However, Hokkaido wasn't incorporated into Japan proper until after the Meiji Restoration. Ainu have only lived on Hokkaido (previously known as Ezo) Hence they aren't truly aboriginal, but are treated as such due to their minority status.

 
Jenny
846447.  Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:31 am Reply with quote

So are there any actual aboriginals other than the Ainu in Japan?

Welcome Kumabjorn :-)

 
Ian Dunn
952298.  Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:20 am Reply with quote

The Japanese are third largest importers of coffee in the world, after the Americans and the Germans.

Japan is the home of the world's oldest coffee chain, Cafe Paulista, and it was Japan's Dr. Satoru Kato, while working in Chicago, who invented instant coffee.

Today Japan has "no pantsu" coffee houses in which waitresses walk across mirrored floors in very short skirts. Some early cafes also offered "subway service" - oral sex under the tables.

Source: The Times Literary Supplement, No. 5721 (22rd Nov. 2012): "No clinking" - Review of Merry White's Coffee Life in Japan by Grant Evans.

 
'yorz
952311.  Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:36 am Reply with quote

Kinky!

 
Ian Dunn
953240.  Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:34 am Reply with quote

The International Fund for Animal Welfare has revealed the results of a poll in Japan about whaling.

Out of 1,200 people, 26.8% support whaling, 18.5% are against whaling, and the remaining 54.7% "expressed no opinion".

My favourite bit about this story is the picture that accompanied it in The Japan Times, as seemingly they could find caucasian people to protest against it, and given just how much of a monoculture Japan is you'd think they would find at least one native Japanese person to photograph.

 
aahaavis
974993.  Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:53 am Reply with quote

Some interesting Japan facts:

Tokyo is in fact not a city. It is the capital of Japan, but is legally not a city but one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. There was a Tokyo city inside Tokyo prefecture until 1943 but after that there hasn't been an actual city called Tokyo, though Tokyo Prefectures "prefecture" is written with a different character than the one used with other prefectures. Most prefectures are called "ken", for example Hiroshima-ken is the Hiroshima prefecture (and its capital is Hiroshima-shi, shi meaning city). Tokyo Prefecture is not Tokyo-ken but Tokyo-to, that could be translated as Tokyo Metropolis, but still in its legislation and so on, it is just like a prefecture.
Tokyo was not the capital either until the end of the 19th century when the Meiji emperor moved there. Then it was not a very culturally advanced place and was pale when compared to the old capital, Kyoto (it's also interesting that "Kyoto" in fact means "Capital" and Tokyo means Eastern Capital. When the emperor moved to the city of Edo, its name was changed into Tokyo)
Edo had been the base of the Tokugawa Shogunate who held real power for a time before the Meiji Emperor and therefore many Japanese politicians were against it's becoming the new capital because they wanted a strong image of the emperor without the ways of the late shogunate remaining around him.
This is interesting: Actually Japanese people disagree about the time when Tokyo became the capital because it differs depending on what counts as a capital. The emperor moved to Tokyo in 1867 so it is usually belived that is the time, but some say Tokyo didn't turn into the capital until 20 years after that when it was officially decided that the emperor will stay there. For a long time it was discussed if the emperor should move back to Kyoto, or alternate between Tokyo and Kyoto, or perhaps between Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, which would have been renamed Saikyo (Western Capital)


The Meiji Emperor as a symbol to the people was highly controlled by politicians. In his youth they wanted him to appear a bit womanly and very Japanese to show his motherliness and commitment to the people (even though he was of course a man) Later they only distributed photos of him in western military clothes to show his strength and firmness. The photos were designed carefully and each new one made him look manlier than the earlier ones. Finally when it was hard to make them more manlier they actually had a french artist paint a painting of him exaggerating his manliness. Then they took a photo of that painting to make it seem like it was just a photo of his majesty.



Hirohito is the most know Japanese emperor but it should be noted that actually although "Hirohito" was his birthname, according to many Japanese accounts, the emperor loses the right to his birthname when crowned, and is given a new name. In Hirohitos case his name became Showa Tennou (Showa Emperor). According to japanese constitution the emperor is not a citizen of Japan and so he lacks the normal rights of a citizen. This is however not in practise and I think the emperor can vote and so on.

It's also true that the emperor Showa studied marine biology, and he also researched slime molds. Slime molds are interesting life forms that are not plants, animals or fungi. A slime mold can divide itself to parts when searching for food and later come back together to fuse again. It also reproduces by essentially becoming its own offspring. Before the birth of new slime molds, the parent turns hard as opposed to its normal slimy state and then the hard form turns into its offsprings. A slime mold can be stored for example in a matchbox and it can stay there in a suspeded state for decades still come back to life when released.


There is that a group of people in Japan called the buraku have been living in Japan for hundreds of years but they still aren't citizens. They are kept quiet about it by giving them some rights that not even the citizens have, but they cannot vote for example. Many of their ancestors came from Korea I think in the 15th century or maybe and since then they have endured a lot of racism. Nowadays many laws try to protect them, but they still aren't citizens.
The buraku were rated so much lower than other people, that they were believed not to belong in the social society at all, much like the emperor doesn't belong to it for the opposite reason.

The ainu people that were mentioned are indeed an interesting group that have been under a lot of bias in the history of Japan. They used to be as many (until 17th century) as the Yamato-people who became the people we know nowadays as Japanese. Now there is possibly around 20 000 geneticly ainu many of who try to hide their heritage. Native speakers of the ainu language are less than 100. They have become so few the bias has been forgotten an there are even people in Japan who hardly know of their existence at all. The ainu have many forms of beautifull culture that now of course remain just as exhibitions of their old ways and as a proud symbols of their heritage for some of the ainu who don't hide their identity so much anymore because the bias has lessened.

 

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