Photo/Illutration Lawyers representing death row inmates head to the Osaka District Court in Osaka on Nov. 4. (Yuto Yoneda)

OSAKA--Two death row inmates are suing the government over the “unconstitutional” practice of carrying out executions on the same day the condemned are informed they will die.

Lawyers representing the plaintiffs said they filed the lawsuit with the Osaka District Court on Nov. 4, seeking 22 million yen ($193,500) in compensation.

They did not disclose the names of the plaintiffs.

According to the lawsuit, the Justice Ministry had previously given advance notice to inmates about when their death penalties would be carried out.

But now, the notification comes only on the morning of the day of the execution to avoid “deeply disturbing death row inmates’ minds.”

The United States, which also uses capital punishment, gives death row inmates three months’ notice of their execution in some cases, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs said the current notification practice does not give inmates enough time to contact lawyers to file an appeal against the execution order.

They argue the practice violates Article 31 of the Constitution, which states: “No person shall be deprived of life or liberty, nor shall any other criminal penalty be imposed, except according to procedure established by law.”

“The advance notice is crucial to protect the human dignity (of death row inmates),” said Yutaka Ueda, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs.

A Justice Ministry official said the ministry will make an appropriate response to the lawsuit when the trial begins.