Ino Kazuo

High court overturns death penalty in jury trial.

June 26, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Tokyo High Court on Thursday overturned a decision by a panel of three professional and six citizen judges that sentenced a 62-year-old man to death for murder, commuting the sentence to life in prison.

In March 2011, the Tokyo District Court gave the death penalty to the defendant, Kazuo Ino, after noting he had killed 74-year-old Nobuji Igarashi only six months after serving a 20-year prison sentence for killing his own wife and daughter in 1988.

In handing down the ruling, Presiding Judge Hitoshi Murase said it was an error for the lower court to have placed too much emphasis on the defendant's previous crime in sentencing him to death.

This is the first time a high court has overturned a death sentence given by a panel of professional and lay judges.

Murase reviewed previous capital punishment cases in which the defendants' criminal records had been given importance and noted that in most of them the defendants, having been sentenced to life in prison for murder, committed similar crimes when they were freed on parole.

The judge said Ino had killed his wife after a quarrel and then tried to force their daughter to die with him, but noted there were no similarities between that case and the killing of Igarashi some 20 years later.

Despite the commutation of the sentence, Ino's defense counsel said the defendant will appeal to the Supreme Court over the decision, noting that Ino has pleaded not guilty to the crime.

The lower and high courts found Ino guilty of breaking into an apartment in Tokyo's Minamiaoyama district in November 2009 with the intention of committing robbery and of killing Igarashi by stabbing him in the neck with a kitchen knife.

In 1989, Ino was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing his 36-year-old wife at their home in the city of Chiba and setting fire to it, resulting in the death of their 3-year-old daughter.

Man who kept silent given death sentence in lay judge trial

2011/March 16

A 60-year-old man, who has remained silent after being charged with robbery and murder, on Tuesday became the fourth person to be sentenced to death in a trial involving citizen judges following the introduction of the lay judge system in 2009.

The Tokyo District Court handed down the death sentence to
Kazuo Ino, as demanded by the prosecution, ruling that he stabbed a 74-year-old man to death when he broke into his apartment in Tokyo with the intent of committing robbery in November 2009. The incident occurred just six months after he completed serving a prison term for murder.

The defendant remained silent during the trial in which six citizen judges—three men and three women—participated.

His lawyers, who had insisted their client was not guilty and said someone else committed the crime, immediately appealed the death sentence.

Ino was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1989 for murdering his 36-year-old wife and leaving his 3-year-old daughter to die in a fire he set at his house in Chiba in 1988. He was released from prison in May 2009.


「完全黙秘」の被告に死刑判決 裁判員4例目 東京地裁





Man who killed wife, daughter faces death penalty for fresh murder in lay judge trial
(Mainichi Japan) March 4, 2011

Prosecutors in a lay judge trial at the Tokyo District Court demanded the death penalty on March 4 for a man who served 20 years behind bars for killing his wife and daughter over charges he murdered a man in Tokyo soon after his release.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office requested the court to sentence Kazuo Ino, 60, to death, claiming that the defendant has taken the lives of three people and there is "no chance of rehabilitation" for the defendant showing an "incredible disregard for human life."

While Ino's attorney pleaded not guilty, the defendant himself continued to remain silent until the conclusion of the trial, forcing the lay judges to face an extremely tough decision. The sentence will be pronounced on March 15.

Ino's case became Japan's sixth lay judge trial in which the death penalty was sought. Though death sentences were actually handed down in three of the five previous cases, none of the defendants in the three cases had pleaded innocent.

Ino stands accused of killing a man in Tokyo's Minami Aoyama district in November 2009 in a bid to rob the victim -- only six months following his release after serving 20 years in prison for the murders of his wife and 3-year-old daughter in 1988.

In their closing arguments, prosecutors insisted that Ino is the only person who can be considered the culprit based on indirect evidence, including his palm prints detected at the crime scene, the victim's blood stains found on the soles of his shoes, and nearby security footage showing a man believed to be the defendant around the time of the incident.

Meanwhile, Ino's attorney argued that there is a possibility that the defendant entered the stranger's home after someone else killed the victim as the entrance of the house was unlocked.

Asked on March 4 by the presiding judge whether there was anything he wanted to say, Ino just stood still with his eyes closed.