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A man sentenced to life for the 1990 murder of a 4-year-old girl was freed Thursday from Chiba Prison after 17 years behind bars as prosecutors opted not to challenge a recent DNA test that did not link him with the victim.

“I’ll never forgive the real culprit, even if the statute of limitations expires,” Toshikazu Sugaya, 62, told reporters in Chiba after his release. “From now on, I will work to support people who have also been (wrongfully) convicted.”

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