Lin, Chin-Gui
2015/07/21
Type: Mistaken Eyewitness Identification
Punishment:Life Imprisonment
Days: 3638
Update: 2017/02/20
[Lin, Chin-Gui]
 
Homicide; Life Imprisonment
 
Facts
At around 9:35 p.m. on May 9, 2007, a taxi driver was shot to death by the passenger in the car when passing 89 Wufu Road, Fengshan, Kaohsiung.  Five months later, the police arrested [Lin, Chin-Gui] and found him involved in the case based on the identification of two witnesses who drove a motorcycle to chase the taxi and an anonymous minor. Lin claimed his innocence and alleged that he had never fired a gun or kill people since his arrest to the court hearing. Eventually, the court found Lin shot and killed the victim for unobvious motives and sentenced him to life imprisonment in 2010.  The Supreme Court dismissed Lin’s the appeal in the same year and confirmed the case.
 
February 5, 2015, [Tsai Ching-Yu] lawyer restated Lin’s case at the press conference of "New Retrial, No Wrongful Conviction" –
 

 
Issues
The figure print collected from the taxi that the victim rode did not match with Lin’s figure print.  The hair collected at the scene was not sufficient to do compare test.  The resolution of the surveillance video at the site was too low to compare. There was no test for the course of bullet conducted. The gun was not found at Lin’s person or place. Lin always claimed his innocence and he passed the polygraph test.
 
The main evidence in this case was the identification of two witnesses who chased the taxi and an anonymous minor A1. The identification procedure might be flawed or mistaken. The two witnesses rode on the same motorcycle. With a poor sight at around 9:35 p.m., it took them around two to three minutes to chase the suspect’s car through four lanes. They were kept a car’s distance from the suspect and can only recognize him from his back.  It was doubtful if they can remember freshly and identify the suspect correctly five months after the incident. Moreover, among four blurred black-and-white photos provided by the police for identification, Lin’s photo was the only one handcuffed with one hand. While Lin’s photo showed his upper body, photos of the others showed a head only. The two witnesses identified the suspect consecutively, which was in violation of the police procedure of suspect identification where it was required to exclude any suggestive or induced arrangement.
 
The anonymous minor witness was ten years old (at his third-grade). He saw only one side of the suspect’s face for about five to ten seconds in a distance of around two meters at night.  He was asked to identify the suspect ten months after the incident.  His identification was doubtful for he might have already identified another as the suspect.
 
In addition, Lin’s alibi in this case might have been overlooked and left without investigation. Lin’s telephone conversation record showed that, 65 minutes after the incident, Lin was at Jiali, Tainan. A year after Lin’s arrest, without showing any test record, a policeman stated that test showed it was possible to arrive Jiali, Tainan from Fengshan, Kaohsiung in 50 minutes. It was disputable on how the policeman conducted the test without any record, which was also the reason the Supreme Court remanded the case for retrial. At the first remanded retrial, the judge checked the google route plan and found that it would take an hour and twenty-three minutes driving from Fengshan, Kaohsiung to Jiali, Tainan.  This evidence favored Lin and could be his alibi, however, the court failed to investigate further.  It failed to provide this alibi to Lin and had him state his comments. Instead, it cited the testimony and reply of the policeman and denied the phone conversation record as Lin’s alibi.
 
Progress
Group of pro bono lawyers petitioned to the Kaohsiung High Court for a retrial based on the google route map as the new evidence of Lin’s alibi.  However, the High Court dismissed the petition and the Supreme Court confirmed the decision in June 2015.
Lawyers had filed second motion of retrial to  Kaohsiung High Court in 2016.
 
 
Keyword:Lin, Chin-Gui