In a retrial of a man who had been found guilty of rape, the Takaoka branch of the Toyama District Court acquitted him Wednesday. Noting that his pretrial oral statements on which investigators had based their case against him were not trustworthy, the court ruled that the man is not the perpetrator.
The police are most to blame for putting Mr. Hiroshi Yanagihara through a nearly two-year prison ordeal. They forced confessions from him so they could bring charges against him. But public prosecutors, judges and even lawyers involved also must reflect on their conduct because they failed to prevent the filing of false charges and contributed to the process that led to his wrongful imprisonment. There were occasions in which both a judge and a lawyer heard the accused deny his involvement.
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