A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Japan cult leader faces hanging after losing appeal in subway gas attack case

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Japan [court website] rejected a death penalty appeal Friday by former cult leader Shoko Asahara [BBC profile; JURIST report], who was convicted of masterminding the 1995 nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system [MIPT report]. Asahara, the former head of Aum Shinrikyo [Wikipedia backgrounder], was convicted of murder and attempted murder in 2004 for releasing sarin nerve gas on rush-hour trains, killing 12 and sickening 5,500. Asahara was also found guilty of planning a nerve gas attack that killed 7 people in the city of Matsumoto.

Eleven other members of Aum Shinrikyo have been sentenced to death for the attacks [JURIST report], but none of the executions have been carried out. Japan does not publicly announce hangings in advance. Reuters has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.