Prosecutors appeal life sentence of nurse who killed patients

Kyodo News

Posted at Nov 22 2021 04:33 PM

Japanese prosecutors on Monday appealed a ruling that sentenced a former nurse to life in prison for killing three patients by putting a disinfectant into their intravenous drips at a hospital in Yokohama near Tokyo in 2016.

The Yokohama District Court ruled on Nov. 9 that Ayumi Kuboki, 34, could be held responsible for the crimes but did not give her the death penalty, as sought by prosecutors, saying it is possible for her to reform.

Unconvinced, family members of the victims had been seeking an appeal.

According to the ruling, Kuboki intentionally killed three inpatients -- Sozo Nishikawa, 88, Asae Okitsu, 78, and Nobuo Yamaki, 88 -- at the institution formerly named Oguchi Hospital by putting the antiseptic solution into their IV drip bags.

Kuboki admitted to the murders.

Her defense counsel had sought a life sentence, arguing the former nurse had a diminished capacity during the crimes in September 2016, brought on by schizophrenia.

But the prosecutors had argued that while Kuboki exhibited traits of autism, she was fully competent to stand trial and that it did not affect her decision-making or play a part in her crimes at the hospital, which had accepted terminally ill patients.