• Kyodo

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Prosecutors demanded the death penalty on Thursday for a 39-year-old man indicted over the fatal stabbing of two pedestrians in random attacks in the city of Osaka in 2012.

They told the Osaka District Court that Kyozo Isohi was fully competent and the number of victims warrants the ultimate sentence.

Random killings are one of “the most malicious” types of murder where anybody can be a victim, the prosecutors said in their closing statements. They added that Isohi, who became desperate over not being able to get a job he wanted, demonstrated a “strong intent to kill” by stabbing the victims repeatedly and without mercy.

Isohi’s lawyers asked for leniency, claiming he was in a state of diminished responsibility when he attacked the victims due to past use of stimulant drugs.

Isohi, who pleaded guilty when his lay-judge trial opened last month, has said he stabbed the victims following auditory hallucinations telling him to do so.

According to indictment documents, Isohi murdered music producer Shingo Minamino, 42, and restaurant manager Toshi Sasaki, 66, on a busy street in central Osaka by stabbing them with a kitchen knife in broad daylight on June 10, 2012.

After the prosecutors’ closing statements, lawyers representing the victims’ families stated that they are demanding capital punishment for Isohi, claiming that he shows “no signs of regret.”

Acquaintances of Isohi, appearing as witnesses for the defense, asked the court to avoid the death sentence, saying he should be sentenced to prison for his crimes.