Kazuaki Okazaki, a former Aum Shinrikyo figure sentenced to death Friday, showed little emotion in court during the near hour it took the judge to read out his ruling. Sitting motionless with his hands on his knees and tilting his head down, he looked as if he was in deep meditation.But letters Okazaki sent to friends while in solitary confinement since his indictment reveal another side of him — his anger at prosecutors for demanding the ultimate punishment of death.According to news reports, Okazaki complained about the prosecutors’ demands for the death penalty, expressing discontent for having his guilt equated with that of Norio Nagayama, a serial killer hanged in August 1997.Okazaki reportedly said in one of the letters that it was unfair that prosecutors demanded death for his strangling anti-Aum lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto alone, while requesting only a life term for Ikuo Hayashi — another Aum defector — for the sarin gassing on the Tokyo subways, which he called an indiscriminate killing that was more atrocious in nature than the Sakamoto case.His personal history as an adopted son in a financially impoverished family might have led to his perplexing character, which the judge termed as “lacking human nature.”Okazaki, who was born in Mine, Yamaguchi Prefecture, was put up for adoption when he was 1 1/2 years old. Some media reports say his adoptedfather was short-tempered and frequently changed jobs, and that the family’s finances were unstable. He earned money for his education by delivering newspapers, but gave up going to college, according to these reports.After graduating from a local technical high school, he worked for several companies, but none of his jobs lasted long. Then he met Aum Shinrikyo leader Shoko Asahara, who seemed to give him what he had long sought — affection.
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