‘Twitter killer’ to forgo appeal against death sentence in Japan: Media

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A Japanese man dubbed the “Twitter killer” who was sentenced to death for the murders of nine people has reportedly said he will forgo an appeal against the verdict but wants to get married before his demise.

On Tuesday a Tokyo court handed down the death penalty to Takahiro Shiraishi for killing and dismembering nine victims he met on the social media platform.

Shiraishi targeted internet users who had posted comments about taking their own lives, telling them he could help them with their plans – and even die alongside them.

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While the 30-year-old has admitted killing and butchering his young victims – all but one of whom were women – his lawyers have begun procedures to appeal to a higher court.

But Shiraishi, who has been detained since his arrest three years ago, told the Mainichi Shimbun that he plans to drop further legal action.

He said he had not been nervous about the verdict because “it was obvious”.

While voicing his readiness to accept the punishment, he expressed a wish to get married.

“Now, I want to meet an ordinary girl,” Shiraishi said.

“I want to get married. I want to find a marriage partner while I am in jail.”

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His lawyers have argued he should receive a prison sentence rather than be executed because his victims, aged between 15 and 26, had expressed suicidal thoughts on social media and so had consented to die.

But a judge dismissed that argument and handed down the death penalty for the 2017 crimes, saying the case had “provoked great anxiety in society, because social networks are so commonly used.”

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