Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- For the first time in Japan, a jury of civilians has sentenced a man to death, court officials said on Tuesday.
Defendant Hiroyuki Ikeda, 32, was charged with conspiring with another man to kill two men in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, before dismembering and dumping their bodies.
The jury of six civilians and three professional judges handed down the sentence in Yokohama District Court, just outside of Tokyo.
The lay judge system, involving a jury of peers, began in May 2009.
Hanging is the current mode of execution in Japan.
About 50 executions have taken place in Japan since 2000, according to the Ministry of Justice.
The last two executions happened on July 28, 2010. Convicted killers Ogata Hidenori, 33, and Shinozawa Kazuo, 59, were hanged in the Tokyo Detention Center.
So far in 2010, six other convicts have been sentenced to death.
In 2009, 18 were sentenced and seven were executed. In 2008, 10 were sentenced and 15 executed.