crime

Man sentenced to death for killing 5 neighbors in Yamaguchi loses final appeal

17 Comments

The Supreme Court has upheld a 2016 ruling by the Hiroshima High Court denying an appeal by a 69-year-old man sentenced to death for the murders of five people in the mountain hamlet of Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture, in July 2013.

In July 2015, the Yamaguchi District Court sentenced Kosei Homi to death for killing five of his neighbors in the remote community. Homi had pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and arson at his trial by reason of insanity.

The five victims represented a third of the population of the hamlet. Three corpses were found after two houses were burned to the ground, while the bodies of two more people were found in their homes. All five were in their 70s and all had been battered with a wooden rod or stabbed to death.

A haiku poem was found stuck to the window of Homi's house. It read: "Setting a fire -- smoke gives delight -- to a country fellow."

Homi had left his house, two cars and his dog behind and when he was found on a little-used mountain trail, he was barefoot and in his underwear. Police found a mobile phone registered to Homi and a shirt and a pair of pants that belonged to him in the mountains. Homi's fingerprints were found on the wooden rod.

Homi had a reputation in the village as a troublemaker, frequently getting angry because he thought people were bad-mouthing him, local media reported, adding that he had once boasted to neighbors that he would be immune from prosecution if he killed people because he was on medication.

The Yamaguchi court acknowledged that Homi suffered from a delusional disorder but ruled that he knew what he was doing when he committed the arson-murders.

Thursday's decision was handed down by the top court's No. 1 Petty Bench. The top court acknowledged that Homi was mentally competent to be held fully responsible for his conduct even though he had been diagnosed as suffering from a type of delusional disorder at the time of the crime, Kyodo News reported.

"Delusion affected the development of the motive, but he carried out the killings based on his own sense of values. The influence of delusion on his actions was not that significant," it said.

© Japan Today/Kyodo

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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He deserves death sentence. Good judgement this time.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Farhaan; I am against the death penalty as I do not think the state should take a life, however there are certainly cases that challenge my conviction on the issue and this is one of them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Fantastic news! The only thing this guy has to look forward to now is the long drop with the quick stop.

good riddance !

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Right verdict. Obviously he wasn't right in the head

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Homi had a reputation in the village as a troublemaker, frequently getting angry because he thought people were bad-mouthing him, local media reported, adding that he had once boasted to neighbors that he would be immune from prosecution if he killed people because he was on medication.

Another time bomb in the community.

He doesn't 'deserve' the death penalty as many posts have stated. If you state he deserves to die it becomes an act of vengeance, not punishment. He 'deserves' to spend the rest of his natural life locked in a cell. That is a punishment.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Setting a fire -- smoke gives delight -- to a country fellow."

So burn him. That should make him and everyone else happy.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Horrible. Deserves long gaol term.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@ Disillusioned & Toasted Heretic = who do you propose should pay for his cell and food then ? You ?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@ Disillusioned & Toasted Heretic = who do you propose should pay for his cell and food then ? You ?

As a tax-payer, I'm fine with that.

I don't get off on people dying. Innocent or guilty.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@ozziedesigner - @ Disillusioned & Toasted Heretic = who do you propose should pay for his cell and food then ? You ?

I’d rather pay to keep this loon in a cell than to pay for someone who got busted for a gram of pot. The death penalty is nothing more than a revenge killing. Death is a release from punishment. The suffering of the families of the victims does not end nor should the suffering of the perpetrator.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I have been opposed to the death penalty for more than 50 years. This case does not change my position.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If rehabilitation isn't possible, what's the point of jail?

The Death Penalty isn't about vengeance. It is about deterring OTHER murderers. While nothing will stop the crazy people, it will deter norms thinking about it.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Right verdict. Obviously he wasn't right in the head

If he is not right in the head then he is innocent by reason of insanity and should be committed to a mental institution for life. People don't choose to be murderously insane.

But anyway, if the state can commit murderous vengeance than why can't he? The death penalty JUSTIFIES murder. Civilized people oppose it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Not sure if this is the guy who was in and out of mental institutions or am I thinking of another case that was also a mass murder in the countryside???

Anyone throw some detailed light on the background of this?

If it was this guy, then confirms imo that giving the death penalty is only about social vengeance.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The death penalty needs to be abolished in Japan. :)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The five victims represented a third of the population of the hamlet.

Small hamlet

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It would have been better to have prevented this unstable person being let roam freely in the first place.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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