National / Crime & Legal

Death penalty to stand in 2005 Hyogo killings


The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday by a 47-year-old man who was sentenced to death for killing two women and dismembering their corpses in Hyogo Prefecture in 2005.

The Supreme Court’s No. 1 Petty Bench effectively finalized the death sentence for Kazuya Takayanagi, ruling that capital punishment is unavoidable because the accused “committed violent and brutal crimes with a strong murderous intention.”

Presiding Justice Seishi Kanetsuki said Takayanagi’s act was “inhumane” as he thoroughly dismembered the bodies of the women and dumped them to prevent identification of the victims.

According to lower court rulings, Takayanagi killed his girlfriend, Mika Hatafuji, and her friend, Yoshimi Tanigawa, both 23, at his home in Aioi, Hyogo Prefecture, in January 2005 with a hammer and then dumped their remains in the mountains and at a port in the prefecture. The girlfriend was slain over money problems, the lower courts had ruled.

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