A taxi driver, he had been detained on suspicion of attempted rape. The police interrogation was so relentless, he says, that it brought him to the brink of suicide. "When I first started saying I was innocent the intimidation and the pressure on me grew stronger," he said. "They kept saying, ‘Your family is giving up on you, they’re very disappointed in you.’ They kept repeating over and over. "I got to the stage of there’s really nothing I can do about this. Anything I say they’re not going to listen to, there’s nothing I can do. I just said yes, one word yes. That led them to arrest me." That confession was enough to see Hiroshi Yanagihara convicted and spend more than two years behind bars, even though a footprint at the scene did not match his shoe size. He was only cleared after he was released, when another man was found guilty of the crime.
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