JAPAN: DEATH PENALTY FOR MASS KILLING AT CARE HOME FOR DISABLED
March 16, 2020:
A court in Japan on 16 March 2020 sentenced a man to death by hanging for the murder of 19 people at a care center for disabled people. (Sources: AFP, AP, Reuters, 16/03/2020)
During the trial, Satoshi Uematsu did not deny carrying out the killings and said he had "no regrets." His lawyers had entered a not guilty plea. They argued he was suffering from a "mental disorder" due to drug use.
However, presiding judge Kiyoshi Aonuma ruled the defendant was mentally competent and that there was "no room for leniency."
"The lives of 19 people were taken away. This is profoundly grave," he told the court. "We considered the accused didn't have a previous record and we made a careful consideration, but we demand the death penalty."
Before the verdict, Uematsu had said he would not appeal.
The 30 year-old once worked at a care center for people with mental disablities southwest of Tokyo.
Uematsu admitted stabbing to death 19 disabled people and injuring 24 others at the Yamayuri-en residential buildings in July 2016. Many of the victims were killed as they slept.
He reportedly told the court the victims were "a burden to society" and killing them would be good for society.