My previous post on Iizuka Case here. This is a case from 1992 where two girls were killed in Iizuka City, Fukuoka Prefecture. Michitoshi Kuma was convicted as the perpetrator of the murders, and he was executed in 2008. He maintained his innocence until his death.
Efforts to exonerate Kuma posthumously has been going on after his death. His widow filed a motion for a retrial to the Fukuoka District Court in 1993, and his lawyers has been trying to get new DNA testing results from the evidence in this case.
Last week, his lawyers revealed a new DNA testing result. From The Mainichi News:
Different type of DNA uncovered after execution in Iizuka case: lawyers
FUKUOKA — Lawyers seeking a retrial of former death row inmate Michitoshi Kuma, who was executed in 2008, announced Oct. 25 that an analysis of a photographic negative from DNA testing of blood taken from the bodies of two girls, has led to the discovery of a DNA type different from Kuma’s.
The lawyers submitted an opinion concerning “the real criminal’s DNA” to the Fukuoka District Court. They said the court recommended that the prosecution check with the National Institute of Police Science (NIPS) to see if there are other materials in addition to the negative film it had kept.
Kuma was executed in 2008 at the age of 70 after being found guilty of kidnapping and killing and dumping the bodies of two 7-year-old girls in Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture, in 1992. He had pleaded his innocence.
In the so-called Iizuka incident, testing samples no longer exist because they were used up in the course of investigations into the case, and it is impossible to appraise DNA types once again. Legal experts and others as well as Kuma’s defense lawyers are closely watching how the Fukuoka District Court will pass a judgment on the analysis of the photographic negative.
In the death verdict, Kuma’s DNA type and a DNA type taken from the bodies of the victims matched — a piece of evidence that found him guilty.
But his lawyers said the results of the negative film’s analysis represent decisive proof of Kuma’s innocence. The Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office says there is no mistake about the content of its appraisal.
The photographic negative was part of the materials the NIPS appraised through the so-called MCT118 method. The Fukuoka District Court ordered it from the NIPS in February this year and Kuma’s lawyers made a copy in September and asked experts to analyze it. The lawyers submitted an expert opinion in writing to the court on Oct. 23 and explained it in a three-way meeting with the prosecution and the court on Oct. 25.
Kuma’s DNA type was 16-26 type based on the MCT118 method. His lawyers say the analysis of the negative film found that 41-46 type was found in blood taken from the bodies of the girls and other places. On the other hand, the lawyers say 16-26 type was found in samples in which there was no possibility of mixing with the real culprit’s blood, and was fuzzy.
The lawyers say the negative film was not submitted as evidence. Instead, they say, only developed photographs which had deliberately removed a portion with 41-46 type were submitted. They allege that the NIPS covered up the negative film as evidence.
The Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office, however, says it submitted the photographic negative as evidence and the photos were partly trimmed due to the size of documents, denying the cover-up allegations.
October 26, 2012(Mainichi Japan)