Japan: Write-up in The Economist about False Confessions, Police Interrogations, Imprisonment in Japan

There is an interesting write-up in The Economist (“Japan’s Prisons: Eastern Porridge”, 23 February 2013) that examines the role of confessions and police interrogations in Japan’s criminal justice system, among others. Here is an excerpt:

“Criminal courts in Japan have long relied heavily on confessions for proof of guilt. Though the accused have a right to silence, failure to admit a crime is considered bad sport. Besides, police have strong incentives to extract a confession and, with up to 23 days to interrogate a suspect, the blunt tools to do so, as a stream of disturbing incidents has shown. Detectives tracking down an anonymous hacker extracted separate confessions from four innocent people before being forced in December into a humiliating apology. Court conviction rates are over 99%.”

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