Murder charges against a woman who stabbed an old lady to death for no reason have been dropped and the woman released, despite accusations that the murder was premeditated.
The incident began with a 23-year-old woman loitering about a Nagoya subway station; she approached an 81-year-old woman, and using a 16cm kitchen knife stabbed her 40 times in the head and back.
She was soon arrested and charged with murder, and freely admitted the stabbing – “There’s no doubt I did it. I killed the old lady with a knife.”
However, her other statements were rather less clear – “My father gave birth to me today. I have no name.”
As a result of these utterances she was detained whilst her mental state was evaluated, but it was decided she was not mentally fit to stand trial.
Her parents also report she was living alone and had been undergoing treatment for schizophrenia at the time of the crime.
As she could not be prosecuted and could not be held any longer, she was released on the 21st of Janurary and placed under court-ordered medical observation, although it is not clear how long she will be detained for.
Japanese law, in common with that of most nations, stipulates those of unsound mind not be prosecuted for their crimes – although usually courts would not be so shy about ordering indefinite hospitalisation of the perpetrator of so serious a crime.
The family of her victim are unsurprisingly dissatisfied with the verdict and are demanding an inquest:
“It’s very unfortunate, and we’re not convinced. She clearly prepared for the killing by taking the knife with her and deliberately selected a victim weaker than herself. We’re not convinced it wasn’t premeditated.”