55 years ago today - Jan 28, 1968

Japanese District and Family Court Judge Hiroshige Takasawa, after more than a year of research studies of Utah's "unique" form of capital punishment, has found "evidence that present laws stem from early Mormon philosophy of blood atonement." Judge Takasawa, a visiting Fulbright research scholar in criminology at the University of Utah, sits on the bench of the Nagoya District Court and Family Court at Toyohashi, Japan. The judge said that through extensive study of the first days of the Mormon pioneers he has found "a possible relationship" between current death sentences and "early days of violence vs. violence." Beginning with the premise, "There must be a background to Utah's unique form of capital punishment—a system which affords a convicted person a choice of death by hanging or shooting," Judge Takasawa sought information and materials from state law enforcement agencies and penal officials.

[Salt Lake Tribune, January 28, 1968, p. 4C, at Mormon Bookshelf: Blood Atonement, http://mormonbookshelf.com/wiki/Blood_Atonement]

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