Japan Top Court Backs Lighter Sentence for Indiscriminate Killer


Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Supreme Court upheld on Monday a high court ruling that overturned a death penalty and gave an indefinite term to an unemployed man for killing two pedestrians in downtown Osaka some seven years ago.

The man, Kyozo Isohi, 44, successively stabbed Shingo Minamino, then 42, and Toshi Sasaki, then 66, to death on a street in the Minami area in the western Japan city on June 10, 2012, according to rulings by Osaka district and high courts.

In the district court trial under the lay judge system, Isohi was sentenced to death. But the high court handed down the lighter sentence on the grounds that he was suffering from auditory hallucinations and that only two people were killed without advance planning.

The prosecution as well as the defense side appealed the high court ruling to the Supreme Court.

The top Court's First Petty Bench, presided by Justice Hiroshi Koike, dismissed both appeals, fixing the life sentence.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press