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Retrial for the most seasoned death row prisoner in the world

Retrial permission has been granted for a Japanese man who has spent almost 50 years on death row for killing his boss, his wife, and their two children in 1966, he received a death sentence in 1968.

According to Amnesty International, Iwao Hakamada, who is now 87, has been on execution row for the longest period of time in the world.

After 20 days of questioning, during which the former professional boxer claimed to have been beaten, he made his confession. Later, in court, he denied making the confession.

Rights organization have criticized Japan for relying so heavily on confessions, which they claim police frequently force. His attorneys had maintained that it didn't and that the proof was composed.

Judges will make a decision in the retrial on the compatibility of Hakamada's DNA with blood stains discovered on garments said to have been worn by the murderer.

In 1966, Shizuoka, west Tokyo, that processed soybean, Iwao Hakamada was detained and accused of robbing and killing his employer and his family. They were discovered dead from stabbing after a fire.

A district judge allowed a retrial for Hakamada in 2014 after concluding that the investigators might have fabricated some of the evidence. The Tokyo High Court later overturned the judgement.

According to Iwao's family, decades in prison have worsened his mental state. Aside from US, Japan is the only other significant industrialised democracy that continues to practise the death penalty.

Although they urged prosecutors to "swiftly start the retrial procedure without making a special appeal to the Supreme Court," lawyers in Japan praised the decision nonetheless.

If a special appeal is made, the process for a retrial might take years, and lawyers have been challenging this system. The head of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations,
Motoji Kobayashi, said

that because Hakamada, who is 87 years old and has been physically restrained for 47 years, suffers from mental and physical ailments, there can be no more waiting.