News / Asia

Japan Court Orders Retrial for Man Sentenced to Die in 1968

Hideko Hakamada (C), sister of death-row inmate Iwao Hakamada, speaks with supporters in front of Shizuoka District Court in Shizuoka, central Japan, March 27, 2014.
Hideko Hakamada (C), sister of death-row inmate Iwao Hakamada, speaks with supporters in front of Shizuoka District Court in Shizuoka, central Japan, March 27, 2014.
VOA News
A Japanese court has ordered the release and retrial of the world's longest-serving death row inmate, who was sentenced to die in 1968.

The Shizuoka District Court said it is possible investigators fabricated evidence that led to the conviction of Iwao Hakamada, who is now 78.

Hakamada has been in jail since age 30. He was convicted of murdering a family of four and setting fire to their home in central Japan.

Judge Hiroaki Murayama said, given questions about the evidence, it is "unjust" that Hakamada, a former boxer, continue to be confined.

Hakamada's sister, Hideko, who helped win her brother's release, was thrilled at the decision.

"It's all thanks to all our support and help. All I can say is that I am really happy," said Hideko.

Hakamada, a former boxer, originally admitted to the murder. He later retracted his confession, saying he was tortured during interrogation.

His first appeal for a retrial was filed in 1981. It took 27 years to process, and was eventually rejected. The latest appeal was filed in 2008.

Prosecutors told Japanese media that they are still deciding whether to appeal the latest decision.

Hakamada is just the sixth death row inmate to receive a retrial in postwar Japan. Four of the five who have were acquitted.

Amnesty International is urging prosecutors to accept the retrial decision, calling his extended period of detention on death row "torture."

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid