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Man released from death row in Japan after 48 years

DNA evidence casts doubt on guilt

27 March, 15:05
Man released from death row in Japan after 48 years (ANSA) - Tokyo, March 27 - A man who has been on death row in Japan for 48 years was released on Thursday after a court suspended his sentence pending a new trial. Iwao Hakamada, 76, was sentenced to death in 1966 for allegedly killing his boss, his wife and their two children, despite proclaiming his innocence.

However on Thursday the Shizuoka tribunal in southeast Japan upheld calls from Hakamada's supporters and the association of Japanese lawyers for a review of the original trial on grounds that fresh DNA evidence cast doubt on the guilty verdict. There are 129 prisoners on death row in Japan, according to the justice ministry. The most recent executions took place last December.

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