Saturday, 6 June 2009

False Conviction

In the world of CSI and Bones, there's no unsolved crime, no bad guy goes unpunished. But unfortunately, in the real world, that's not how things work.

Imagine suddenly being taken away by the police for an interrogation, where you're forced to make a confession on a crime you've not committed. Then before you know what happened, you're chucked into a prison to spend the rest of your life there.

That actually happened to a guy from Tochigi. He was "convicted" of the murder of a 4-year-old girl. The 62-year-old was released yesterday, after DNA tests came back with a negative result. It's more than good to be a free man again after spending the last 18 years in prison for false charges.

18 freaking years of life, gone. So many things can happen in 18 years' time. 18 years ago, George Bush Senior was the president of the United States. 18 years ago, Michael Jackson was the King of Pop. And 18 years ago, we couldn't tell apart simian DNA from that of a homo sapien's.

The chances of a coincidental match back then was about 1 to 700, which was considerably high. That was how the man got convicted. But what's more unacceptable is that during the investigation, the man was roughed up and coerced to make a confession.

The press conference was in the news the other day. During the session, the man appeared calm but when he spoke about the forced confession, he couldn't hold back his anger.

"The police will not be forgiven." For a man who has lost 18 years of freedom, that can be naturally understood. He has lost much, including his parents who passed away while he was in prison.

It's scary to know that when we're expecting law enforcers to protect us, innocent men are actually convicted of false charges. Who knows how many others are there? And it can happen to just about anyone.

News articles:
DNA test findings lead to lifer's release
『警察、検察許せぬ』 釈放の菅家さん 語気強め捜査批判
足利事件:菅家さん「謝って」 記者へ手紙

1 persons flung their shoes:

phyee86 said...

That also happened a lot in our country, isn't it? Sigh....