Hakamada: Japan’s death row

Iwao Hakamada, the world’s longest-held death row prisoner, and his sister fight for his freedom.

Filmmaker: Louis Dai

In 1966, in a small town in Japan, a family of four was stabbed and burned to death in their home. The violence of the crime shook the nation.

Shortly after, a 30-year-old retired boxer, Iwao Hakamada was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.

Despite a lack of evidence, he has been on death row for almost half a century. But with all odds stacked against him, he and his sister continue to fight to save him from execution.

Hakamada’s story reveals the human cost of the flaws in Japan’s justice system, where 99.9 percent of defendants who are tried in court are convicted.