A woman’s appeal of a life sentence for setting fire to the home of her lover and causing his two children to die was rejected Oct. 2 by the Tokyo High Court.The Hachioji branch of the Tokyo District Court ruled in January 1996 that although Yukie Kitamura, 31, was incapable of sound judgment after she was jilted by her lover, and although he also bears serious responsibility, it was impermissible to cause the two children to die through a premeditated, cruel crime. Kitamura did not contest the outline of the charges brought against her in the appellate hearings and said she was seriously reflecting on her conduct.Her attorneys, seeking a lighter sentence, argued that she was unable to overcome her emotional distress and was in a feeble state of mind when she started the fire. Kitamura used a duplicate key to sneak into her lover’s home in Hino, suburban Tokyo, on Dec. 14, 1993, the court said. She spread gasoline in the house and set it on fire, killing the man’s 6-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.Kitamura became acquainted with the man at their workplace in 1990, and they initiated an extramarital affair. When the man’s wife found out about the affair she pressed Kitamura to end it. The court said Kitamura decided to commit the crime because she had been severely reproached by the man’s wife.
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