• Kyodo

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Yukio Saito, who spent more than two decades on death row before he was exonerated in a retrial and freed in 1984, died Tuesday morning in a Miyagi Prefecture hospital, his supporters said. He was 75.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

Saito was arrested at age 24 for murdering a farming couple and their daughter and son in October 1955 in what was then Matsuyama, Miyagi Prefecture. The case came to be known as the “Matsuyama Incident.”

Saito maintained his innocence during the trial but was sentenced to death in 1957 by the Sendai District Court. The Supreme Court finalized the sentence in 1960.

After spending 29 years in prison, Saito’s request for a retrial was granted and he was acquitted in 1984 at age 53.

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