Thank you for the June 26 editorial — “Truth behind false charge” — on the various court decisions expected to result in an eventual declaration of innocence for Toshikazu Sugaya.
As the editorial points out, however, the refusal of the Tokyo High Court to entertain a defense request to question National Police Agency officials involved in the erroneous DNA tests that helped put Sugaya away for 17 years on a murder charge has been a serious obstacle to clarifying the truth. It is now up to the Utsunomiya District Court; hopefully it will also look at the alleged forced confession. Groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Now have long pointed out that the Japanese system of long detention, called daiyo kangoku or substitute prison, is a form of torture.
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