Japanese man who killed 19 disabled people sentenced to death

A Japanese man has been sentenced to death for a stabbing rampage in 2016 which resulted in the death of 19 disabled people at a care home.

Satoshi Uematsu said people with disabilities who were unable to communicate well had no human rights, said broadcaster Kyodo.

The 30-year old had once worked in the care facility, located near Tokyo.

The case is one of Japan’s worst mass killings and has shocked people in a country where violent crime is rare.

In an earlier interview with Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, Uematsu had said there was “no point in living” for people with mental disabilities and that he “had to do it for the sake of society”.

The Yokohama District Court on Monday ordered him to death by hanging.

Uematsu previously said he did not plan to appeal against any verdict or sentence.
During the trial earlier this year, the former employee of the Sagamihara care home did not dispute that he stabbed his victims.

But his defence team pleaded not guilty, citing their client’s mental state. They said he had been under the influence of drugs at the time.

“He abused marijuana and suffered from mental illness,” his lawyer said.

“He was in a condition in which either he had no capacity to take responsibility or such a capacity was significantly weakened.”

There were traces of marijuana found in his blood after the attack.

Prosecutors though insisted Uematsu was mentally competent and that the rampage was “inhumane” and left “no room for leniency”.