The Yomiuri Shimbun The Justice Ministry announced Thursday that it had executed two death row inmates earlier in the day at Osaka and Hiroshima detention centers.
One of the executed, Masakatsu Nishikawa, 61, was convicted of murdering four women, but had appealed for a retrial. It is extremely rare for a death row inmate in the process of appealing for a retrial to be executed, sources said.
Thursday’s execution was the first since Nov. 11 last year, and the 11th under the current administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with a total of 19 having been executed under both Abe administrations. The number of death row inmates now stands at 124.
Nishikawa’s death sentence was handed down over a series of robberies, murders and other crimes that occurred in four prefectures, including Hyogo, Shimane and Kyoto, in 1991 and 1992. All four of the murdered women operated bars.Speech