In Japan, no one can hear you scream “I’m innocent!”

One of my good friends, photojournalist extraordinare Dan Ryan (http://brisbanegraphicartsmuseum.com/smallstories/ , http://lets-dan-ryan.tumblr.com/), is friends with journalist Jake Adelstein. If you’re not familiar with Adelstein, he wrote a best selling book, “Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan,” which chronicled his exploits as a reporter covering the Japanese Yakuza. Adelstein holds the distinction of being the only American reporter admitted into the Tokyo Metropolitan Police press club. While he no longer lives in Japan (death threats tend to make one a little mobile), he is still an active freelance reporter, and just had this article published for the Daily Beast:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/29/abandon-hope-all-ye-tried-in-japan.html

In short, the article outlines a justice system where 99% of cases result in a conviction, but there is more to this than meets the eye. Prosecutorial misconduct is the norm, double jeopardy is basically unknown, and an attitude of “guilty until proven guilty” pervades all aspect of the justice system in Japan. it’s a fascinating insight into a very insular world It also shows that while we certainly have more than our fair share of problems in our system, we still have protections that are unknown in Japan, such as habeus corpus, and Miranda. Give it a read.

 

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