Monday, July 27, 2009
"However, new tests showed that Mr. Sugaya's DNA did not match samples linked to the crime, forcing authorities to accept that he is innocent and throwing into doubt evidence used in scores of other trials. The new tests also made clear the dangers of courts' general faith in jailhouse confessions, even when, like Mr. Sugaya's, they are subsequently recanted. Amnesty International has expressed concern that Japanese police routinely obtain confessions through 'torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment', including beatings and unrelenting questioning, while lawyers complain that the courts' 99 per cent conviction rate reflects undue willingness to accpet prosecutors' accounts. ... Professional judges have run juryless trials in Japan since 1943, but under the new system lay judges drawn from voter roles will help to decide guilt and punishment. ... However, some experts say citizens may be unwilling to go against the views of professional judges, while a gag law that bars lay judges from talking about their experiences afterwards may make it hard to tell how well the system operates", my emphasis, Mure Dickie at the FT, 20 June 2009.
In Texas 98% of all felony convictions result from plea bargains. Most attorneys, in my opinion, can't try cases. Absent eyewitness testimony, they are helpless. It's not the world of Gary Sinese and David Caruso out there, but the world of "summary arrest" or walk". Japan's new system looks like a "false flag" to me.