A woman who killed four with poisoned curry, including a ten-year-old boy and a sixteen-year-old girl, and sickened a further 63, has been sentenced to death.
Masumi Hayashi, 47, was sentenced to death after a nine year trial, with judges convicting her of lacing a curry dish with arsenic at a summer festival in Wakayama, in the Kansai area. Identical samples of the same arsenic found in the curry were discovered at her home.
Hayashi’s lawyers petitioned the Supreme Court over the ruling on the grounds it is a “mistake to acknowledge that the defendant alone had the opportunity” to poison the curry, but the court upheld the verdict. Courts have condemned the murders as a “brutal indiscriminate mass killing.”
It is rare for the Supreme Court to overturn a verdict in a petitioning of the judge’s final ruling, and it is also rare for Japanese police to fail to convict someone they arrest.
Hayashi’s motive bore no influence on the verdict, as it could not be determined. Most evidence held against her was of a circumstantial nature.