Russia's 'chessboard killer' Punishment too harsh

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MOSCOW, Nov 2 (Reuters) Russia's ''chessboard killer'' has appealed his life sentence, saying he thinks spending the rest of his life in jail is too strong a punishment for murdering 48 people, his lawyer said today.

Alexander Pichushkin, who showed no remorse during his trial, was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison last month.

But his lawyer said the serial killer thinks the punishment does not fit the crime and should be cut to 25 years.

''Pichushkin thinks the sentence is too harsh,'' said his lawyer Alexander Karyagin, adding that an appeal had been lodged with Moscow city court.

''When I met with my client, I explained to him that the appeal would probably be refused, but he insisted that it should be filed.'' ''It's my job,'' Karyagin told Reuters by telephone today.

Pichushkin, who claimed during his trial to have killed 63 people, goaded detectives for taking years to track him down.

Pichushkin was given his nickname by Russian media because he told detectives that he had hoped to fill a 64-square chessboard with markers for each of his victims.

REUTERS AM RAI2251

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