Monday, April 7, 2014

Iwao Hakamada: The New York Times examines "soul-searching" as an innocent man (at least the shell of a man. HL) is released after four decades on death row. Reporter Hiriko Tabuchi. (Must Read. HL).

PUBLISHER'S VIEW: (Editorial); The tragically sad saga of Iwao Hakamada has lessons which extend far beyond Japan's border's. First,  the importance of preserving evidence carefully so that it is available  for forensic testing following the conviction - and the importance of mandating the preservation of this evidence  for possible post-conviction use through legislation; Second: (I can't believe this has to be said!) The importance of prosecutor's facilitating  DNA and other kinds of  testing instead of opposing it under the ludicrous argument that "finality" trumps the need to eliminate the possibility that a miscarriage of justice has occured. (This too should be mandated by statute, instead of leaving the applicant to the mercy of the  prosecutors and the courts.) Mr. Hakamada had the extraordinary good fortune that  a pair of bloodstained pants found in a tank of miso paste and other clothing  which later could be tested for DNA was somehow preserved and found; He had the good fortune not to have been taken to  the execution chamber at any time, without any prior notice, except, of course, on weekends. He was lucky enough to have wonderful, steadfast supporters who never wavered, lawyers who fought relentlessly for his exoneration - even after decades - and at least, some judges cared more about justice than about the reputation of Japan's justice system.  Still, it could easily have gone the other way, and he could long be departed from this earth, These things must never be left to chance.

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

STORY: "Soul-searching as Japan ends a man's decades on death row," by reporter Hiroko Tabuchi, published by the New York Times on March 27, 2014.

GIST: "Iwao Hakamada was a wiry former boxer in his 30s when he was thrown in jail for the killing of a family of four that shocked 1960s Japan. On Thursday, he limped from his cell on death row, a bewildered-looking 78-year-old who, his family fears, may have lost his mind in prison. It took the courts nearly half a century to conclude that the evidence against him may have been fabricated by police investigators, and to order the retrial he sought..........Mr. Hakamada’s odyssey in the court system began after he retired as a featherweight boxer and went to work at a miso maker in Shizuoka, in central Japan. Several years after he was hired, in 1966, the charred bodies of a manager at the company, his wife and two children were found in what appeared to be a murder and a fire at their house; the house had also been burglarized. More than a month later, the police arrested Mr. Hakamada. Problems soon arose with the evidence. A pair of bloodstained pants found in a tank of miso paste that prosecutors said belonged to Mr. Hakamada were too small, which his defense team proved when he tried them on in court. But the force of the confession allowed him to be convicted. The break in the case came recently when the defense team won its argument that DNA testing should be done on the pants and other clothing that was presented as evidence. The testing showed that the blood did not match Mr. Hakamada’s."

The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog