Perry Mason (1957–1966)
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The Case of the Wrongful Writ 

Ward Toyama is approached by a man claiming to be a government agent asking Ward to use his father's export business to help in a secret project. Ward comes to find the man is a first mate on a ship. When he is murdered, Ward is charged.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Della Street
Paul Drake
Hamilton Burger
Lt. Tragg (credit only)
Harry Grant
Capt. Otto Varnum
Katherine Squire ...
Esther Norden
Douglas Henderson ...
Frank Jones
Albert King
Sally Choshi
Judge Edward Simpson


Ward Toyama, a young lawyer, is approached by Frank Jones claiming to be a government agent asking for his assistance. Toyama's father owns a major import/export company with dealings in the Far East and with export licenses in place. Frank is looking to ship 'farm implements' to an unnamed country in Asia. Ward foolishly agrees without checking out Jones' story and soon finds himself charged with murder when, after the ship's departure with Ward on board, Jones is killed. Ward realizes he is in trouble upon boarding the ship and finding that Jones is the first mate and the travel plans have changed. He confronts and fights with Jones who falls over the railing. Ward believes it was an accident until Perry tells him the truth. In Los Angeles, Perry Mason doesn't present a defense at the preliminary hearing and even Hamilton Burger is surprised at the ease with which he he manages to have Ward Toyama bound over for trial. Perry quickly files a writ of habeas corpus in the Federal Court... Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 May 1965 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the preliminary hearing, the camera cuts to the judge, also showing his microphone. The on/off switch for the mic is in the "off" position. See more »


[first lines]
Perry Mason: [giving a lecture] The so-called M'Naghten Rule, as a test for criminal responsibility, holds there is accountability if the defendant knew, abstractly, that what he did was wrong.
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User Reviews

4 April 2012 | by See all my reviews

This particular Perry Mason episode concerned the question of which court had jurisdiction over James Shigeta who is charged with the murder of a guy who made a monkey out of him in a con game. As Shigeta is also a lawyer as well as running a family exporting business the jackpot he finds himself in could get him disbarred.

The deceased is a first mate on a tramp freighter captained by Peter Whitney and owned by Katherine Squire. For a lawyer Shigeta is rather dumb as he agrees to put his family name to a shipment of 'farming implements' that aren't farm implements. The first mate who is played by Douglas Henderson said he was a secret agent and Shigeta believed him. In the word of Bugs Bunny, 'what a maroon'.

Still Perry Mason brings a case in federal court that the deceased was in fact killed on the high seas and that it is their jurisdiction not Hamilton Burger's. Of course he demolishes the case be it state or federal.

Nice bit of legal legerdemain but talk about having a fool for a client.

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