Shoji Kochi

Top court upholds death sentence over 2 murder-robbery cases
Tuesday, November 6, 2007 at 12:48 EST

TOKYO — The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced to death a man convicted of murdering and robbing two women in Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture, in 2001. Koichi Shoji, 53, in conspiracy with his girlfriend, Fumiyo Yamamoto, 45, fatally stabbed a 54-year-old female acquaintance of Yamato and stole 230,000 yen in cash from her in August 2001, according to lower court rulings.

The following month, the couple killed a 42-year-old acquaintance of Yamamoto by drowning her in a bathtub, and stole 60,000 yen in cash. Yamamoto is now serving a life sentence. Shoji's defense team had sought to overturn the death penalty, arguing that he was in state of diminished responsibility at the time of the crimes and did not bear complete criminal responsibility. (Kyodo News)


Death sentence upheld for man
who killed 2 housewives in Kanagawa

The death sentence was confirmed for a man convicted of murdering two housewives after the top court dismissed his appeal on Tuesday.

Koichi Shoji, 53, an unemployed man of no fixed address, will be sent to the gallows for killing two housewives in Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture, in 2001.

The third petty bench of the Supreme Court rejected Shoji's appeal on Tuesday, which confirmed the death sentence he was handed by the lower courts. Earlier rulings convicted Shoji of burglary and murder in the 2001 murder cases.

In handing down the ruling, the judge said, "The defendant's responsibility for brutally killing two innocent people during such a short period of time is extremely grave."