Death row record

ST is a member of Amnesty International. Now back in the U.K., she spent several years in Japan, and was horrified to read in a recent issue of Amnesty Magazine (issue 61, May/June 2010) that a Japanese man is believed to be the world's longest-serving death row inmate.

"I love Japan, but imagine waking every morning not knowing if this is the day you will be executed. No wonder his psychological state is described as 'fragile.' "

Iwao Hakamada, now aged 74, has spent the last 42 years in prison, 29 of them in solitary confinement. He was convicted of murder in 1974, largely on the basis of a confession he later withdrew.