Published On: Fri, Sep 28th, 2012

Japanese cult leader, Sachiko Eto, executed by hanging, first woman to be executed since 1997

Hangman's noose

Photo/ Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons

A notorious cult leader, who was convicted in 2005, for the morbid murders of six cult followers, was executed by hanging at the   Sendai  Detention Center Thursday.

According to reports, Sachiko Eto, 65, was an exorcist  who beat six cult followers to death to “free them from demons” during macabre exorcism ceremonies.

The International Times reports that Eto was arrested after the rotting bodies of four women and two men were discovered by police in her home in Sukagawa, Fukushima Prefecture, in July 1995. She had beaten them to death with Japanese Taiko drum sticks.

Eto’s lawyers argued she was suffering mental problems at the time of the crimes and claimed she had “diminished responsibility”. The Japanese court would have not of it, upheld the sentence ruling that her crimes were “excessively grave.”

The prosecution said, “She carried out the beatings while watching the victims die one by one. It was extremely cruel.”

In addition to Eto,  39-year-old Yukinori Matsuda  was also executed by hanging the same day at  the Fukuoka Detention Center. Matsuda was convicted of killing two people during a robbery in 2003.

The hangings have drawn harsh criticism from Amnesty International who called the executions ” acts of premeditated, cold-blooded killing by the Japanese state”.

The hangings bring the total number of executions in the country this year to seven people. Japan did not carry out any executions in 2011.

Currently, 131  remain people remain on death row in Japan, including Shoko Asahara, founder of the Japanese religious group,  Aum Shinrikyo.

Asahara was sentenced to death in 2004 after being convicted for masterminding  the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway and other crimes.

Prosecution said Asahara ordered the terrorist act to “overthrow the government and install himself in the position of Emperor of Japan”.

He was sentenced to death by hanging on February 27, 2004; however, the execution was ostponed this summer after the arrests of other  Aum Shinrikyo members.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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