Crime & Justice

Japan executes man over 2008 truck-ramming, stabbing rampage

Tokyo, Jul 26 (EFE).- Japan on Tuesday executed a man who in 2008 killed seven people in a rampage in a crowded Tokyo shopping district, the Ministry of Justice said.

Tomohiro Kato, 39, was sentenced to death for running over and killing three people with a truck at an Akihabara district intersection in a vehicle-free pedestrian zone, before getting out and fatally stabbing four people. Another 10 people were injured.

Kato was executed by hanging, in accordance with Japanese law, in the Tokyo detention center where he was imprisoned, Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa said at a press conference.

He was sentenced to death in 2011, and in 2015 the case was closed after the Supreme Court rejected the final possible appeal of the defense, which had argued that Kato was not in full control of his mental faculties at the time of the events due to severe psychological stress.

Tuesday’s execution follows three inmates who in December were hanged for murder in what was the first use of the death penalty in the country in two years.

It is also the second use of capital punishment since Prime Minister Fumio Kishida came to power in October.

Japan, along with the United States, is the only democratic and major industrialized country that still imposes capital punishment, a practice highly criticized by other governments and rights organizations.

In this sense, Furukawa appealed to the legal independence of Japan and to the fact that the polls considered by the government indicate that “the majority of the Japanese people are in favor of the death penalty in cruel cases.”

There are currently 106 prisoners on death row in Japan, according to the latest figures provided Tuesday by the Ministry of Justice. EFE


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