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The Tokyo High Court on Monday upheld a 27-year-old man’s lower court-imposed death sentence for a random stabbing spree in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district that left two people dead and six wounded.

Hiroshi Zota, a former newspaper deliverer from Okayama Prefecture, had admitted to the charges of murder and attempted murder in the Sept. 8, 1999 attack.

His mental competency was the major issue during the trial.

Presiding Judge Kunio Harada ruled Monday that Zota had intended to kill anyone he came in contact with and remained unrepentant.

“Even if the influence of such elements as (Zota’s) unfortunate living environment on the formation of his character is taken into account, there is no other choice but capital punishment,” the judge said. “The defendant got hold of a knife with the aim of committing indiscriminate murder, and showed hesitation, in his own way, prior to the act.”

This proves he was not mentally ill, the judge said.

In January 2002, the Tokyo District Court sentenced Zota to death after a psychiatric examination determined he knew the difference between right and wrong and could control his actions

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