Japanese man sentenced to death for killing 36 in Kyoto Animation fire

Japanese man sentenced to death for killing 36 in Kyoto Animation fireJapanese man sentenced to death for killing 36 in Kyoto Animation fire
via 日テレNEWS, テレ東BIZ / YouTube
A Japanese court handed the death sentence to the man who lit the fire that killed 36 people inside an animation studio in Kyoto in 2019.
What the court said: Chief Judge Keisuke Masuda read the verdict against Shinji Aoba, now 45, at the Kyoto District Court on Thursday after determining that the defendant was not mentally insane or weak when he committed the crime. Aoba’s lawyers tried to seek a lighter sentence for “mental incompetence,” but Masuda rejected their plea.
“The death of 36 people is extremely serious and tragic,” Masuda said, according to NHK. “The fear and pain of the deceased victims was indescribable.”
Capital punishment in Japan: Japan is one of the few developed countries that continues to hand down the death sentence – by hanging – for its most serious crimes, including multiple murders. Death row inmates, which reportedly totaled to 107 as of December, are only notified of their execution hours before it is carried out. The last inmate executed was Tomohiro Kato on July 26, 2022.
What happened: About 70 people were inside Kyoto Animation’s No. 1 building on July 18, 2019, when Aoba doused its ground floor with gasoline before setting it on fire. He was reportedly heard yelling “die.” Aoba accused the anime studio of stealing a novel he had submitted for a contest sponsored by the studio in 2017.
Aoba, who suffered burns to 90% of his body, was arrested a year later after his recovery for the death of 36 people and injuring 32 others. He faced five charges, including murder, attempted murder and arson. He pleaded guilty during a court appearance in September 2023, admitting that he did not expect “so many people would die” and that he went “overboard.”
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