Man who spent 45 years on death row in Japan hopes for chance to clear name

Iwao Hakamada, 88, who spent longer than anyone in the world awaiting execution, awaits murder retrial verdict

In the early hours of 30 June 1966 a fire swept through the home of the managing director of a miso maker in Shizuoka, central Japan. After the fire was put out, police found the bodies of the executive, his wife, and their two teenage children. They had all been stabbed to death.

Iwao Hakamada, who had worked for the firm as a live-in employee, was arrested on suspicion of murdering the family, setting fire to their home and stealing 200,000 yen (£973) in cash. Two years later he was found guilty of murder and arson and sentenced to hang. He maintained innocence throughout his 45 years awaiting execution – the longest any prisoner worldwide has spent on death row.

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