“In a retrial held decades after his conviction, a court on Thursday acquitted an 85-year-old man of a 1985 murder in Kumamoto Prefecture.

The Kumamoto District Court found Koki Miyata not guilty in the murder of his shogi partner Matao Okamura in Matsubase, Kumamoto Prefecture, more than 34 years ago.” https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/28/national/crime-legal/39-years-13-year-jail-term-85-year-old-finally-exonerated-kumamoto-murder-retrial/

One unique aspect of Japanese society is the way that people who are charged with a crime are treated. Being charged with a crime can lead to ostracisation that one might expect only after someone had been found guilty. There is to a certain extent a presumption of guilt, not innocence, partly due to the very high conviction rate in Japan.

This labeling (and ostracisation) does help Japanese people organize people into two very distinct groups but it does create significant problems within Japanese society.

In this RLE and in similar ones police and prosecutors sometimes become overly fixated on a particular suspect who they “label” guilty far too early in the process. This “constrains our understanding” by placing innocent people in jail and allowing the guilty to remain free.