Prosecutors have submitted an opinion to the Supreme Court claiming that rulings by lower courts in a 1991 double murder case in Hokkaido, in which the defendant was sentenced to life in prison, violated the common law standards of the death penalty, it was learned Wednesday.

Prosecution authorities have made similar claims to the Hiroshima and Tokyo high courts in cases in which the death penalty demanded by prosecutors had been commuted to life in prison, informed sources said. The move is regarded as an apparent effort by prosecutors to pressure judicial authorities who “tend to dodge doling out capital punishment,” the sources said.

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