Text: “Death-row inmate sues Japan gov’t over ban on colored pencils at detention centers” The Mainichi.

Extract: “A death-row inmate convicted of murder who has been drawing pictures using colored pencils and selling them to recompense bereaved relatives has filed a lawsuit demanding that the national government revoke revision to prison directives banning the use of such pencils, arguing that it violates his freedom of expression guaranteed under the Japanese Constitution.” https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20211008/p2a/00m/0na/010000c

Constitutions are the core of a country’s legal system but they are broadly-worded documents and quite often they were written at a point in time that is quite different from the present.

In the case of the death-row inmate’s art in the article above, the prison warden (or someone above him / her in the chain of command interpreted prison guidelines and the constitution in a different way than the prisoner. Consider the rationales behind the different interpretations and consider the ways in which good interpretations can be distinguished from bad.

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