Can Wife Chop Up Abusive Husband?

Prosecutors demanded a twenty-year prison term for Kaori Mihashi who murdered and dismembered her husband and then disposed of the body parts all around Tokyo. the 33 year-old housewife is accused of fatally striking her husband with a wine bottle and then cutting up his body using a variety of saws and kitchen knives. Mrs. Mihashi argued she was mentally incompetent when she finally lashed out at her husband who had been abusive over a long period of time. In June, 2005, she went to an abuse shelter after being hit by her husband. “I was helpless, I had nobody to turn to,” she argued as justification for killing and cutting up her husband. Two court-appointed psychiatrists concluded she had a mental disorder at the time of the killing.

The prosecutor argues anyone who could cut up and distribute body parts around Tokyo was functioning in a reasonable state of mind. Murder is not pleasant and is certainly not an appropriate solution to physical abuse, but the courts should certainly recognize Ms. Mihashi was desperate and sometimes desperate people can have moments of logical performance.