• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Death row record-breaker freed

A JAPANESE court has ordered the release of the world's longest-serving death row inmate, saying investigators had probably made up evidence in a murder case that left him behind bars for nearly half a century.

Shizuoka District Court suspended the death sentence for 78-year-old Iwao Hakamada, a former professional boxer convicted of the 1966 murder of a family, and ordered a retrial.

More than 45 of the 48 years Hakamada has spent in jail have been on death row, making him the longest-serving such inmate, according to Guinness World Records.

Hakamada was sentenced to death in 1968 but was not executed because of a lengthy appeals process. It took 27 years for the supreme court to deny his first appeal for a retrial. He filed a second appeal in 2008, and the court finally ruled in his favour.

The court said DNA analysis obtained by Hakamada's lawyers suggested investigators had fabricated evidence. It ordered a retrial, making Hakamada only the sixth death row inmate to get a retrial in post-war Japan.

Contextual targeting label: 
Block list

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.