Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bulletin: Michitoshi Kuma; District Court refuses to grant a posthumous trial to a man hanger over 1992 slayings; Court dismisses lawyer's claims that false DNA tests had led to his conviction; Japan Times;

The Fukuoka District Court decided Monday not to reopen a 1992 murder case in which a man was executed six years ago for killing two young girls, dismissing new evidence brought forward by his lawyers. The decision not to grant a posthumous retrial to Michitoshi Kuma, who consistently maintained his innocence, came just days after another court decided to reopen a 1966 quadruple murder case and free 78-year-old Iwao Hakamada from death row after nearly 48 years in detention. Kuma’s lawyers plan to appeal the decision......... Kuma was hanged in 2008 at age 70 for the kidnapping and murder of two 7-year-old girls in Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture. Kuma’s widow petitioned the court in 2009 for a retrial, arguing that false DNA test results had led to his conviction. His lawyers argued that the quality of the DNA tests was poor and thus not credible, and submitted an analysis by a forensics expert showing that Kuma’s DNA was not the same as the DNA type admitted by the court as the culprit’s.........The lawyers also submitted as new evidence an analysis saying that Kuma had blood type of B, while the killer’s blood type was AB, as well as an expert psychological opinion that said witness testimony linking the slayings to Kuma may have been influenced by investigators."

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