9 Years of Imprisonment
#Failing to Preserve Evidence #Misidentification
On August 19, 2004, two men had a grudge and disputes for personal relationships. They agreed to convene people and met again at the entrance of the Wanjin Camp, Wanjincun, Wanluan Village, Pingtung County at around 1 a.m. on August 20.
Later, both sides turned up at the site. A group of dozens of men fought against the other group with sticks, iron bars and other tools. The victim was struck on the head and subsequently died. Eight months after the incident, participants involved in the fight identified Liu at the police station. Eventually, the court held that Liu was involved in the fight and was liable for the crime of inflicting bodily injury resulting in death. Liu was sentenced to nine years in prison.
At the time of the incident, the prosecutor requested the police officers to obtain the record of five mobile phones in order to identify various participants in the fight. However, there was only part of the record of two mobile phones in the case file. This means the police officers either hided evidence or did not perform their duties in accordance with the instruction of the prosecution.
Eight months after the incident when police officers arranged the witnesses to identify the suspect, they failed to have the witnesses state the feature of the suspect prior to the identification or arrange a line-up identification. Instead, they only used a photo to have the witnesses identify the suspect. Moreover, the witnesses pressed their figure print on the photo one after another upon identifying the suspect. This arrangement was suggestive and misleading, which was not in line with the identification procedure of the police office.
Liu provided to a police officer an invoice of grocery shopping as his alibi evidence, but the police officer did not file the invoice in his case file. He lost the invoice and mishandled the evidence.
To sum up, there was no phone record proving that other co-defendants contacted Liu. The police did not know how many people were involved. The identification procedure was full of flaws. The police concealed evidence or failed to collect necessary evidence. Despite all these flaws, the court found Liu contacted other co-defendants in an “unknown way” and jointly committed the crime.
Group of pro bono lawyers filed a petition to the Control Yuan in September 2014. The Supreme Prosecutor Office filed an extraordinary appeal on behalf of Liu in October 2004, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court in December 2014. In April 2015, the Supreme Prosecutor Office filed a second extraordinary appeal and was also dismissed by the Supreme Court in December 2015.