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Japan to start retrial of Longest serving death row inmate Iwao Hakamada

Mar 28, 2014 18:55 IST

A Japanese court on 27 March 2014 ordered the release and a retrial of Iwao Hakamada. He is the longest serving death row inmate in the world.

imageHe was accused in 1966 of killing four people, although he briefly admitted to the killing, he retracted this and pleaded innocent during his trial, but was sentenced to death in 1968. The sentence was upheld by the Japanese Supreme Court in 1980 and Hakamada is believed to be the world's longest-serving death row inmate.

Japan and the United States are the two countries in G-7 group of rich nations to maintain capital punishment and the death penalty.

Capital punishment is carried out by hanging and prisoners do not know the date until the morning of the day they are executed. For decades, Japan did not even officially announce that capital sentences had been carried out.

Eight people were put to death in Japan in 2013, and there are believed to be nearly 130 on death row.

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