A Japanese man named “Twitter killer” was sentenced to death by a Tokyo court on Tuesday for the murder and dismemberment of nine people he met online.
Takahiro Shiraishi, 30, confessed to killing and slaughtering his young victims – all but one woman – whom he met on the social media platform.
His lawyers argued that he should receive a prison sentence because his victims, aged between 15 and 26, expressed suicidal thoughts on social media and therefore agreed to death.
But on Tuesday “the death sentence was given” to Shiraishi, a court official told AFP.
“None of the nine victims agreed to kill, including silent consent,” the judge said, according to public broadcaster NHK.
“It is extremely important that the lives of nine young people have been taken away. The dignity of the victims has been undermined,” the judge reportedly added.
NHK said 435 people showed up to watch the verdict, even though the court had only 16 seats available to the public.
Shiraishi used Twitter to contact users who posted about his own life, telling them he could help them in their plans – or even die along with them.
The father of one 25-year-old victim said in court last month that he “will never forgive Shiraishi even if he dies,” NHK reported then.
“Even now, when I see a woman my daughter’s age, I confuse her with my daughter. This pain will never go away. Give her back to me!” he said.
Japan is one of the few developed countries that retains the death penalty, and public support for it remains high.
Years usually pass between conviction and execution, and the last execution took place in December 2019, when a Chinese man was hanged for the murder of a four-family man.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is published by a union stream.)