This Chicago Criminal attorney has posted here about false confessions. Sure the police are under a lot of pressure to close a case, but it is time we look at all of the facts surrounding a confession including the length of time the accused is in custody before making it.
ON a December morning in 1991, Toshikazu Sugaya’s quiet, anonymous existence in this sleepy city north of Tokyo ended abruptly with a knock on his door.
It was the police. They wanted to question Mr. Sugaya, then a 45-year-old divorced school bus driver with no friends, in connection with the grisly murder in 1990 of a 4-year-old girl. After 13 hours of interrogation, during which Mr. Sugaya says the police kicked his shins and shouted at him, he tearfully admitted to that murder and to killing two other girls. He was convicted of one murder and sentenced to life in prison.
But last year, after prosecutors admitted that his confession was a fabrication made under duress and that a DNA test used as evidence had been wrong, Mr. Sugaya was released. A court later acquitted him.
Unfortunately, we can’t say that would never happen here.