A Japanese man nicknamed the “Twitter killer” was sentenced to death by a Tokyo court on Tuesday for killing and dismembering nine people he met online.
Takahiro Shiraishi, 30, admitted to killing and slaughtering his young victims – all but one of whom were women – 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 consented to death.
But on Tuesday, Shiraishi’s “death sentence was handed down,” a court official told AFP.
“None of the nine victims agreed to be killed, including silent consent,” the judge said, according to public broadcaster NHK.
“It is extremely serious that the lives of nine young people have been taken. The dignity of the victims has been trampled on,” the judge added.
NHK said 435 people showed up to pursue the verdict, even though the court had only 16 seats available to the public.
Shiraishi used Twitter to contact users who posted about how to take their lives, telling them he could help them with their plans – or even die with them.
The father of a 25-year-old victim told the court last month that “he will never forgive Shiraishi even if he dies,” NHK reported at the time.
“Even now, when I see a woman my daughter’s age, I confuse her with my daughter. This pain will never go away. Give it back to me!” he said.
Japan is one of the few developed nations to retain the death penalty, and public support for it remains high.
Usually, years pass between conviction and execution, and the last execution was in December 2019, when a Chinese man was hanged for killing a family of four.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is published in a syndicated stream.)