Suitei Yuuzai (Presumption of Guilt)
Review by David Cirone
Twelve years ago, a young girl is found murdered in a park. The police come up empty-handed, but their chief suspect is a long-shot — a door-to-door salesman Shinozuka (Jun Kunimura) with a history of assault. Unable to find firm evidence, they pin their case on experimental DNA tests which point to Shinozuka. At trial, he reluctantly confesses his guilt and is sentenced to life in prison. Suddenly, new DNA evidence comes to light, and Shinozuka is found innocent after spending over a decade in prison. How will he adjust to his new freedom and start a new life in the shadow of his past?
Attorney Yoko Ishihara (Hitomi Kuroki), tenacious and pragmatic, represents Shinozuka, pushing for the updated DNA test that proves Shinozuka’s innocence. She wants to make the police force and the media repay the debt of Shinozuka’s long years in prison, during which he suffered the death of his estranged wife and became separated from his only daughter. She’s out for revenge, and she’s smart enough to realize the high-profile case will further her own political ambitions.