JAPAN: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY AFTER CAMPAIGN
February 20, 2012: Japan's Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for a man who killed a young mother and her baby daughter when he was a juvenile, ending years of campaigning by the victim's husband.
The decision closes a case that captured the public's imagination as the distraught father and husband Hiroshi Motomura fought for years to bring the killer to justice.
Presiding judge Seishi Kanetsuki said the death penalty was inevitable for Takayuki Otsuki, who was 18 when he raped and killed 23-year-old Yayoi Motomura before strangling to death her 11-month-old daughter Yuka in 1999 in Yamaguchi, western Japan.
Otsuki, who is now 30, was found guilty in 2000 and initially jailed for life by a district court, with judges citing the fact that he was a juvenile - deemed as anyone below 20 under the Juvenile Act - for their leniency. (Sources: AFP, 20/02/2012)