Convicted Days
4068
B09林金貴 Lin, Chin-Gui
Murder
Life
#Misapplication of Forensic Science #Misidentification

Facts

At around 9:35 p.m. on May 9 2007, a taxi driver was shot dead at Fengshan County, Kaohsiung. Five months later, the police arrested Lin Chin-Gui and believed that he was involved in this incident. The prosecutor relied primarily on the identifications made by the two male witnesses and a secret teenage confidential witness, and also the testimony of a masseuse who was not at the crime scene. The masseuse identified Lin from the monitor screen during the investigation of the police.

The murder weapon was not found, the fingerprints found in the car were not Lin’s, and the hair was not Lin’s as well. Lin also passed the polygraph test. After being arrested, Lin claimed his innocence and alleged that he had never fired a gun and committed homicide. However, the court still found Lin guilty of the murder, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Progress

Lin never gave up claiming his innocence after the guilty verdict and tried to petition. In 2014, the Taiwan Innocence Project decided to rescue.

According to the monitor screen, the suspect’s hair was long enough to touch his shoulder. Lin’s sister found a photo of Lin two months before the incident, and showed that Lin had a short hair at that time. The photo shop where Lin took the photo confirmed that Lin took the photo at that time. It was impossible for Lin to have such long hair in only two months. The dermatologist also provided professional opinion about the speed of the hair growth, and said that it was impossible for human being to grow hair that fast. Moreover, with 3D facial recognition technology, Lin’s photo did not match with the one showed on the monitor screen.

The group of pro bono lawyers filed twice to the High Court Kaohsiung Branch Court for a retrial but were both dismissed. On April 18th 2017, the court ruled for a retrial and on August 7th 2018, Lin was found not guilty.

This case was appealed by the prosecutor, and the Supreme Court remanded. Now the case is before the High Court Kaohsiung Branch Court.