Death row convict chokes to death

The Japanese Justice Ministry reported that a female convict on death row for the murder of two men choked to death.

The Justice Ministry announced Miyuki Ueta lost consciousness while eating some food at the Hiroshima Detention Centre at about 4.20pm on Saturday. The cause of death by suffocation was confirmed by a doctor who examined her body after she was sent to hospital.

Detention centre staff tried to remove food from her mouth but she was confirmed dead at around 6.55pm the same day.

Ueta had been on medication for multiple illnesses and, on Tuesday, she was rushed to hospital after fainting during dinner.

The 49 year old was awaiting execution in Japan after being convicted of murdering two men in the western prefecture of Tottori in 2009.

Ueta, a former employee at the bar, was found guilty of committing two murders: in April 2009, she drugged and drowned 47 year old truck driver Kazumi Yabe in the sea, and in October of the same year, she repeated the crime by drugging and drowning 57 year old electronics store owner Hideki Maruyama, in a river. The Supreme Court finalised her death sentence in 2017.

Ueta, who was in debt to both victims, maintained her innocence and argued that the verdicts were primarily based on circumstantial evidence, such as the fact that she was the last person to see the men before they went missing and that she obtained sleeping pills beforehand. The lower courts determined that her motive for committing the crimes was to avoid repaying the debts she owed to the victims.

After Ueta’s death, there are still 105 people on death row in Japan, as per the ministry.

In 2022, there was only one execution. In July 2022, Tomohiro Kato, a 39-year-old former office worker, was put to death for the killing of seven people and the injuring of ten others during a rampage in the Akihabara district of Tokyo in 2008.

Death row convict chokes to death | News by Thaiger
The Justice Ministry building in Tokyo, courtesy of Japan Times

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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