Disability Japan Sagamihara

Death penalty sought for man who killed 19 care home residents

Prosecutors on Monday demanded capital punishment for a man charged with murdering 19 residents and injuring 26 other people at a care home for the mentally disabled near Tokyo, in a 2016 knife rampage.

From Kyodo News & Jiji Press

February 17th 2020

YOKOHAMA – Prosecutors on Monday demanded capital punishment for a man charged with murdering 19 residents and injuring 26 other people at a care home for the mentally disabled near Tokyo, in a 2016 knife rampage.

During the trial at the Yokohama District Court in Kanagawa Prefecture, prosecutors said Satoshi Uematsu, a 30-year-old former employee of the facility, singlehandedly took 19 lives and showed no remorse, adding he has no intention to rehabilitate.

“We can see that the defendant has formulated his idea of killing disabled victims who were not capable of communicating, based on his experience of working (there). It is a peculiar thought instead of a pathological delusion,” a prosecutor said.

The deadly predawn attack by Satoshi Uematsu, 30, was “extremely cruel,” the prosecutors said in their closing statement, noting that such a high death toll from a one-person attack was “unprecedented” in Japan.

The prosecutors also argued that the attack was uniquely malicious in that the victims were murdered with little resistance as they could barely defend themselves due to their disabilities or while being asleep.

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