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“BOX Hakamada Case – What is the Life” on a capital case to be on retrial

Le 11 July, 2014

“BOX Hakamada Case – What is the Life” on a capital case to be on retrial

Side Event for Consideration of the State Report of Japan,
111th Session of the Human Rights Committee

This is a true story. Iwao Hakamada (born March 10, 1936) was accused for murders of 4 persons and arson. Police interrogation was carried out with torture to bring him in detention for 48 years, mostly as a death inmate. Iwao Hakamada, former professional boxer, was sentenced to death on September 11, 1968.

In March 2014, he was granted a retrial and an immediate release when the Shizuoka district court found there was reason to believe that those evidences against him had been falsified (the prosecutor, however, appealed before the High Court).

This casts alarming eyes over a controversial detention system as well as reliability of death sentence in Japan. Let’s look closer to Daiyo Kangoku system or substitute prison in police station.

In 2010, director Banmei Takahashi released the movie. This nonfiction drama film shows a clear picture of two persons: Iwao Hakamada, the accused and Norimichi Kumamoto, the judge. Kumamoto believed Iwao’s innocence, but he was of a minority in judges deliberations. Problem was the evidences were sufficient or not.

The movie was nominated for the Grand Prix des Amériques at the Montreal World Film Festival.

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