Fuchigami Yukiharu


Death penalty to stand for man convicted of killing 2 in 1999

20th April, 2011

The Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down an appeal from a man who was sentenced to death after being convicted of killing two men in Miyazaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, 12 years ago.

The defendant Yukiharu Fuchigami, 42, can still file an objection against the decision with the top court under the country’s Code of Criminal Procedure. But it is limited to technicalities such as an error in the wording.

Tuesday’s decision is expected to eventually become final and binding as the highest court has rarely accepted such an objection.

Lower court findings show that Fuchigami killed a 47-year-old man in March 1999 in Saito, Miyazaki Prefecture. The man had been an accomplice in a car accident insurance scam and Fuchigami feared he may talk about the crime.

He was also convicted of conspiring with another person to kill a 47-year-old man six months later in the prefectural capital of Miyazaki by using a truck to run him down and of abandoning the man’s body at a waste disposal site.

Justice Mutsuo Tahara, the presiding judge in the case at the top court’s third petty bench, said there is no room for leniency for the defendant who he said committed such a brutal and cold-blooded crime.

In May 2003, the Miyazaki District Court sentenced Fuchigami to death—a decision upheld in January 2007 by the Fukuoka High Court’s Miyazaki branch.