JAPAN: TOP COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY FOR KILLER TSUTSUI
July 21, 2016: The Supreme court rejected an appeal against a lower court decision to give the death sentence to 31-year-old Gota Tsutsui over the 2011 murder of two family members of a former girlfriend.
The defense for Tsutsui, from the city of Kuwana in Mie Prefecture, maintained his innocence throughout multiple trials. But the top court upheld lower court rulings, saying that the courts found he had committed the murders based on objective evidence.
â€śThere is no room for leniency, given his motive of one-sided obsession to retake the former girlfriend and of getting rid of her family members that he considered as an obstacle, even by killing them,â€ť presiding Judge Masayuki Ikegami said at the courtâ€™s First Petty Bench.
â€śThe result that he took the lives of two people who had done nothing wrong was grave.â€ť
According to the Supreme Court ruling, Tsutsui assaulted the former girlfriend in Chiba Prefecture in 2011. In pursuit of her, the accused then broke into her familyâ€™s home in Nagasaki Prefecture and stabbed to death her mother, Mitsuko Yamashita, 56, and grandmother Hisae, 77.
The incident revealed inappropriate police responses, including a lack of cooperation among the Chiba, Mie and Nagasaki prefectural police departments, when the woman consulted with police over the stalking case. (Sources: japantimes.co.jp, 21/07/2016)