Japan Man Gets Retrial after 46 Years in Jail: Iwao Hakamada Becomes Longest-Serving Death Row Inmate
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | March 27, 2014 8:01 PM EST
Iwao Hakamada was sentenced to death in 1968 for the murder of his boss, the man's wife and their two children. Hakamada, who is now 78, is said to have admitted the crime after 20 days of interrogation. But he had later retracted the confession in court. He said he was forced to confess the crime he never committed because he was severely beaten.
Amnesty International revealed that Japanese courts have finally granted a retrial to the prisoner, who is believed to be longest-serving death row inmate in the world. It added in a statement that the Shizuoka district court granted his latest request for a retrial at a hearing earlier on Thursday. Prosecutors have four days to appeal the court's decision.
"It would be most callous and unfair of prosecutors to appeal the court's decision. Time is running out for Hakamada to receive the fair trial he was denied more than four decades ago," said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.
"If ever there was a case that merits a retrial, this is it. Hakamada was convicted on the basis of a forced confession and there remain unanswered question over recent DNA evidence."
According to his lawyers, recent forensic tests show no match between Hakamada's DNA and samples taken from the clothing the prosecution alleges the murderer wore.
One of the three judges who convicted Hakamada is understood to have publicly stated later that he believes the man is innocent.
"The Japanese authorities should be ashamed of the barbaric treatment Hakamada has received. For more than 45 years he has lived under the constant fear of execution, never knowing form one day to the next if he is going to be put to death. This adds psychological torture to an already cruel and inhumane punishment," Rife added.
Traditionally, Japan's police are known to rely on confessions to prosecute but critics have stated that they are often obtained by force.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Heads to Malta For New Movie After A Whirlwind French Wedding [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
- 2014 US Open Update (Day 4 - Men's Singles): Murray, Djokovic, Raonic and Isner Advance to 3rd Round [PHOTOS]
- Top 5 Richest Tennis Athletes
Join the Conversation
- Centerplate CEO Des Hague Caught Abusing Dog In Vancouver Building Elevator [VIDEO]
- ISIS Video of Slain Syrian Soldiers Raises Doubts; Syrian Gov't Demands Release of Captured Troops
- The Most Insane Facts About The American Civil War That You May Not Know
- Viral Video Kevin Droniak Grandma: Teenager Shows Grandma Their Videos Together, Grandma Gives Priceless Reaction
- Major Highlights On 1400 Minor’s Sex Assault
- Apple iWatch is iPhone 6 Accessory on Sept 19 Release Date: 6 Confirmed Specs & Features
- Canada Vs Russia War Erupts Via Twitter on Russia-Not Russia Maps
- James Foley Torture Involves CIA Waterboarding Technique
- Product Recall Alert: Hewlett-Packard Pulls Out 6M Power Cords from US, Canada Over Fire Hazard Concerns, Australia Also Affected
- ISIS Wants $6.6M and Release of Aafia Siddiqui in Exchange of Head of Female US Humanitarian Aid Worker, 1st American Fighting for Jihadis Dead
- Malaysia Airlines to Axe 4,000 Employees, Including CEO; Suspends Trading of Shares
- Better Market Your Uranium Someplace Else, Japan Appetite No Longer Huge as Before – Former PM Tells Australia Queensland Premier Campbell Newman