A man touted as the world’s longest-serving death row inmate will need hospital treatment, according to his sister. 78-year old Iwao Hakamada was ordered free by the Shizouka District Court last week while a retrial of the 1966 murder of his former boss and family is being prepared.
His 81-year old sister Hideko, who has been campaigning for his case and claiming his innocence since he was first imprisoned, accompanied him out of the prison and to a medical check-up on Friday. His sister said he would need medical treatment for up to six months, as the years of confinement have taken a toll on Hakamada’s mental and physical health. She claimed that the former boxer is having difficulty making conversations and simple decisions, making him unstable.
Hakamada initially denied involvement in the grisly murder of his former bean-paste maker boss and his family before setting their house on fire. However, he later confessed to the crime, and after which, claimed he was tortured and beat up in a brutal police investigation to make him admit it. He withdrew his admission of guilt, but the court still upheld his statement and sentenced him to death in 1980. Many of his supporters say Hakamada was framed with the use of false evidence. Prosecutors presented used blood-stained clothes as evidence only a year after the crime was committed and he was arrested. But his supporters say the clothes presented did not fit him and the blood stains seemed fresh despite the evidence being found a year after the crime happened. DNA found on the clothes was not a match to Hakamada either. However, the court maintained his death sentence.
[via Japan Today]