Death Denied- Hangman Cheated

Saturday 21st February 2009


The Osaka High Court upheld on Friday a life prison sentence given to a woman convicted of stabbing two children to death while driving them to kindergarten with her own daughter in the lakeside city of Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture, in 2006. Judge Yasuhiro Morioka turned down appeals both from defendant Zheng Yongshan, 37, a Chinese national, and prosecutors against a lower court decision that rejected prosecutors’ demand for the death penalty and instead sentenced her to life in prison.

In October 2007, the Otsu District Court found Zheng was in a state of diminished capacity at the time of the crime and gave her the lighter punishment. Court findings showed Zheng fatally stabbed a 5-year-old girl Wakana Taketomo and 5-year-old boy Jin Sano on the morning of Feb 17, 2006, in her car while on the way to a kindergarten. Zheng and the children’s parents had made carpool arrangements.