The Osaka High Court on Friday upheld the death penalty imposed on a 72-year-old woman dubbed Japan's "black widow" for murdering her husband and two common-law partners with poison to inherit money and escape debt.

In handing down the sentence to Chisako Kakehi, presiding Judge Hiroaki Higuchi said there was no error in the lower court ruling that recognized she had murdered the three men and attempted to murder another. The judge also rejected her lawyers' claim that she cannot be held responsible due to dementia.

"The crimes were premeditated and she properly understood the situation," the judge said, referring to capsules containing cyanide that were prepared for the victims.