Letters of executed cult members reflect regret, desire to live


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I am relieved these evil people, child killers and terrorists, were finally extinguished. Justice at last for the many victims and familys.

As for critics of Death Penalty. This is how Japan works, and keeps crime rates lowest in world.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

"I would like to hand down stories about what happened and live on to atone for my sins."

You had many uninterrupted years in prison, you could have written a book about it.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

And what about their victims' desire

to live?

They all got what they deserved. Well done Japan for snuffing out their pitiless lives.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Bwahahaha! Yeah, they wanted to atone after being locked in a cell for twenty years. It’s a shame they didn’t think of that before they poisoned the Tokyo subway. Twits! Burn those letters and forget these psychos ever existed!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

They need to be kept so criminologists can use them in their studies to understand how these people's minds worked which caused them to commit their evil crimes. I don't actually believe they were true in their atonement and only trying to avoid their destiny.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Things suddenly got real, now that the leader has been executed. Not so tough now are ya?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Good riddance.

"If (the executions) are carried out, 'the correct answer' will never be known

If Asahara didn't answer the "correct answers" after all this time, he never would have done so. Or worse, he would have tried coercing more minds into condoning his acts. That's what zealots do.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is nothing to understand. These murders were acts of insanity. The whole point of insanity is that it is incomprehensible. So why try to understand it?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Bertie, I +1ed you, although I don't agree with you :) . They seemed insane when viewed from our point of view, but their actions were extremely well calculated pieces of inteligence. Actually every murder is an act of insanity, by this logic.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Mirai HayashiToday  06:23 pm JST

“Things suddenly got real, now that the leader has been executed. Not so tough now are ya?”

I don’t understand who your comment is aimed at. Hayakawa and Niimi both died on the same day as their leader and their letters were (obviously) written some time before their executions.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"My feelings of apology toward the victims and their families have never weakened in the 23 years since everything came to light," said Hayakawa, who was arrested in 1995 and sentenced to death in 2009.

So, moments after the first victim of his poison gas was asphyxiated he felt apologetic?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If you want to try and understand something of how Aum members thought, read 'Underground' by Haruki Murakami. He interviewed a few of them (not the murderers) for the book - their testimonies reveal how the cult encouraged feelings of superiority to the rest of society and intensified feelings of alienation from it. In many cases, though, you get the impression that those feelings of alienation and superiority were already there in the initiates. Some renounced Aum after the attacks, many didn't.

I finished the book two days after these executions were carried out. Generally I don't support the death penalty, but in this case I didn't feel any sympathy for those who were executed. Too many people died or were injured by these criminals for that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

should have been done years ago, why should Japanese support them for so long.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Letters sent from prison by some of the executed Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult members expressed regret

In the article I only saw two of them expressing regret.

"Two" is not the same as "some."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There will never be jutice and their is no such thing as atonement. They murdered, proving themselves unfit for human society and have been destroyed.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Evil is the word for them. Well done Japan ridding the planetof this scum.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

should have been done years ago, why should Japanese support them for so long.

Do you know anything at all about due process and how the system here in Japan works? I suppose you are like the folks who think once the initial verdict was handed down they should have been taken out back and shot.

Believe it or not, once the sentences were verified for all the defendants in this case the executions happened at a light speed pace for here, and all 7 going on the same day was unprecedented as well.

Learn about the system here, even the worst criminals, no matter their crimes, deserve and should receive due process!

1 ( +2 / -1 )


Every act of murder is insanity. That's what it is. "The unlawful premeditated killing of one or more persons." They may think it out "perfectly logically" (in their own mind), but there are going to be some huge gaps in reasoning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"At the time, I thought I was fighting for truth and salvation, but all I got from resorting to terrorism was pain and sorrow," he wrote in one of his letters sent to a civic group.

he is still only thinking of himself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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