Iwao Hakamada: Japan’s record-breaking death row prisoner

A former boxer who spent longer on death row than any other prisoner in the world has “become a cause célèbre” for opponents of Japan’s death penalty.

Iwao Hakamada was arrested in 1966 on suspicion of murdering his boss in Shizuoka, central Japan. The executive’s house had been set alight and he, his wife and two children were found “stabbed to death”, said The Observer. Hakamada was found guilty in 1968 and sentenced to hang. He has not left custody since. 

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