#Misapplication of Forensic Science #Unlawful Interrogation #Withholding of Evidence
The murder happened behind closed doors. Ten people were in the small karaoke room where a gunfight broke out between gangsters and the police. The police quickly won control of the room and the wounded were taken to the hospital. The others were taken in for questioning.
One officer, Su Hsien-pi, had been shot three times and died.
The final ruling against Cheng Hsing-tse, the court says Cheng must have run from his position to shoot Su and then run back again to where he had been. The court sentenced him to death.
False confession: Wrongful convictions usually start with confessions, and Cheng’s case is no exception. In the night, Cheng was held at a detention center. Notes from his physical examination there say his left eye was bleeding and swollen. However, when Cheng was injured in the gunfight and taken to hospital for treatment at around midnight on Jan. 6, 2002.The medical records make no mention of bruising to his eyes.
Forensic Science: No Cheng’s fingerprint found on the fire gun. No reconstruction of crime scene.
The second remand trial in Taichung High court had not recused themselves, since the 3 judges had already made a decision in appeal proceeding and found Cheng guilty, sentence him to death penalty.
In 2016, the prosecutor’s office re-examined the reliability of the original trajectory analysis, and agreed that the original analysis was flawed. The prosecutors and Cheng both filed a retrial petition to Taiwan High Court in March. After an evidentiary hearing in April, the Taiwan High Court adopted a new expert opinion provided by the prosecutor, which showed that the gunshot wounds of the victim contradicts the original trajectory analysis. Taiwan High Court overturned the conviction yesterday. Cheng was released without bond in 3rd. March.