The Sayama Incident: Kazuo Ishikawa’s half-century struggle against a wrongful murder conviction and Japan’s backward legal system

In 1963, Kazuo Ishikawa was convicted of the murder of a high school girl in Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture. A member of the Buraku, Japan’s historical untouchable caste, Ishikawa grew up poor and uneducated, and the police built the case against him by taking advantage of his naivety, by capitalizing on social prejudices, and by manipulating an already unfair legal system to their advantage. Now 74, he is still fighting to clear his name and to make sure others have access to a fair trial.

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