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The sentence is only half the story

Wilson, S. (2015) The sentence is only half the story. Journal of International Criminal Justice, 13 (4). pp. 745-761.

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When Allied governments passed sentence on Japanese war criminals from 1945 onwards, they expected that those convicted would stay in prison for their full terms. Within a comparatively short time, however, each government controlling Japanese war criminals’ sentences had granted them some form of clemency, and by the end of 1958, the last remaining war criminals, including those sentenced to life imprisonment, had been released with the agreement of the prosecuting governments. This article examines the ethical, political and pragmatic considerations that led to the granting of parole and clemency to convicted Japanese war criminals between 1945 and 1958, the bureaucratic processes through which clemency was arranged, and the shifting political positions of the Japanese and Allied authorities in regard to war criminals. In so doing, it contributes to the extension of studies of war crimes justice to the post-sentencing phase, and highlights the role of the Japanese authorities and the Japanese public in determining the fate of war criminals in the Pacific theatre of the war.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Arts
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: © (2015) The Author
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