Death sentence finalized for 1996 subway sarin attack

A death sentence has been finalized for Masami Tsuchiya, previously a senior member of the AUM Shinrikyo cult, who was convicted over a series of crimes perpetrated by the group, including the Tokyo subway system sarin attack in 1995.

Tsuchiya was convicted of being involved in six cases related to AUM, including two deadly sarin gas attacks in Japan, reports. One attack was in the residential Matsumoto area in the Nagano Prefecture in June 1994 and the other was in the Tokyo subway system in 1995.

The death sentence had already been finalized for the founder of AUM, Shoko Asahara, also known as Chizuo Matsumoto. Tsuchiya is the 11th member of AUM to be given the death penalty, reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sarin is a man-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. This colorless, clear, tasteless liquid was used during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s and can lead to symptoms within a few seconds of exposure to the vapor form.

Sarin symptoms include watery eyes, blurred vision, drooling and excessive sweating, diarrhea, confusion and nausea in smaller does. In larger doses, it can lead to a loss of consciousness, paralysis, convulsions and respiratory failure leading to death. Sarin breaks down slowly in the human body, which may mean that people repeatedly exposed can suffer more harmful health effects.