Tag Archives: MCT 118

Did Japan Execute the Wrong Man? – Iizuka Case

Photo taken near Iizuka CIty

Michitoshi Kuma was executed at the Fukuoka Detention Center in October 2008. He had always maintained innocence to the crime of which he was found guilty. Kuma’s family filed for a retrial in October 2009.

Kuma was found guilty of abducting, killing and dumping the bodies of two 7-year-old girls in 1992 in Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture. He was arrested in 1994, but maintained his innocence.

Since there was no direct evidence linking Kuma to the crime, they relied on circumstantial evidence, including a testimony by an eyewitness that he saw the dark-blue vehicle which belonged to Kuma near the place where the victims’ bodies were found, and a fiber analysis which revealed that some pieces of fiber on the victims’ clothing was the same fiber from the seat from Kuma’s vehicle.

Another evidence against him was the result of a DNA testing conducted by the Police crime laboratory. Blood on the ground from where victims’ bodies were found were tested for a DNA profile, and they said that the DNA type matched Kuma’s.

The Fukuoka District Court sentenced him to death in 1999. The High Court as well as the Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and his sentence was became finalized in 2006. He was hanged in 2008 at the age of 70.

Then, in 2009, the country was stirred by a finding in another high profile case, the Ashikaga Case (read about this case here). Continue reading