Sixteen Years of Insistence: Lin Chin-Kui is Fully Exonerated!
Lin Chin-Kui was convicted of shooting and murder of a taxi driver on May 9, 2007, in Fengshan, Kaohsiung, and was sentenced to life. The Taiwan Innocence Project took his case in 2016. The retrial of Lin’s case began on April 19, 2017 and the High Court Kaohsiung Branch Court acquitted him on August 7, 2018. The prosecutor appealed and the Supreme Court remanded the case on December 26, 2018. The High Court Kaohsiung Branch Court issued a verdict on December 3, 2020, finding Lin guilty. This guilty verdict was revoked by the Supreme Court on November 3, 2021. After a ten-month trial, on August 30, 2022, the High Court Kaohsiung Branch Court acquitted Lin for a second time; the prosecutor appealed. On January 12, 2023, the Supreme Court rejected the prosectuor’s appeal on Mr. Lin Chin-Kui’s not-guilty verdict, pointing out that Mr. Lin had a solid alibi for the time the murder took place. The Supreme Court’s rejection ends this 16-year miscarriage of justice just a week before the Chinese New Year.
Lin Chin-Kui was accused of murdering a taxi driver by gun on May 9, 2007 in Fengshan County, Kaohsiung. Five months later, the police arrested Lin, believing that he was involved in the murder. The prosecutors relied primarily on identifications made by two male witnesses, a secret teenage witness whose identity was kept confidential, and the testimony of a masseuse who was not at the crime scene. The masseuse identified Lin from the monitor screen during the investigation by the police.
The murder weapon was never found, the fingerprints and the hair found in the car did not belong to Lin either. Lin even passed the polygraph test. After being arrested, Lin insisted he was innocent and claimed 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 in 2010.
In 2013, Lin reached out to the Taiwan Innocence Project claiming his innocence. Through the assistance from Lin’s sister, we found a headshot photo taken 2 months before the incident, showing that Lin had short hair by then, while based on the monitor footage at the crime scene, the real perpetrator had long hair down to the shoulder. In March 2016, using the photo as the new evidence, TIP filed a motion for retrial, the court granted retrial on April, 18 2017 and ordered Lin to be released from prison. Lin walked out from prison on April 21, 2017. The retrial lasted for sixteen months, and on August 7th 2018, Lin was found not guilty by the High Court Kaohsiung Branch Court; however, the prosecutor appealed, and the Supreme Court remanded. On December 3, 2020, Lin was again found guilty by the same court,the defense appealed, and fortunately, the Supreme Court remanded the case on November 3rd 2021. After ten months of the trial back at the High Court Kaohsiung branch, Lin Chin-Kui was once again found innocent on August 30, 2022. With the Supreme Court rejecting the prosecutor’s appeal on January 12, 2023, Lin Chin-Kui’s innocence verdict was finally deemed final.
We want to extend our gratitude to Lin Chin-Kui’s family for the successful vindication. The critical new piece of evidence that secured Lin Chin-Kui’s alibi and reopened the case, the headshot, was found by Lin Chin-Kui’s sister in 2015. It was this new piece of evidence that initiated this rescue case.
Lin ’s insistence on innocence and his sister’s unwavering support for her family made the verdict of innocence today possible. Therefore, we give special thanks to Lin Chin-Kuiand his sister and invite all to join us in wishing them well.
【Timeline of Lin Chin-Kui’s Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment】
2007.01.05 Lin Chin-Kui went to Kaohsiung Daliao Household Registration Office to apply for an ID card.
2007.01.25 Lin went to the Household Registration Office to change his ID card because he had changed his address
2007.03.05 Lin went to Huadiao Digital Image Studio to take a photo.
2007.05.09 At 9:35 p.m., a taxi driver in Fengshan, Kaohsiung Fengshan was shot.
2007.05.09 At 10:40 p.m., Lin’s mobile phone contact showed that the address was in Jiali, Tainan
2007.10.10 Lin was arrested, and the witness at the scene identified Lin as the perpetrator. Lin stated he was innocent.
2007.11.29 Lin passed a polygraph test.
2008.01.30 Kaohsiung District Prosecutor’s Office prosecuted Lin for homicide.
2008.03.25 The district court heard that the fingerprints in the car did not match Lin.
2008.04.29 Kaohsiung District court convicted Lin of homicide and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
2008.12.22 The Kaohsiung High Court rejected Lin’s appeal.
2009.03.26 The Supreme Court revoked and remanded the case.
2010.06.17 Kaohsiung High Court convicted Lin of murder.
2010.09.02 Lin’s conviction was finalized.
2015.02.05 The defense team applied for retrial with “Google driving route map.”
2015.02.26 Kaohsiung High Court rejected the application for retrial.
2015.06.25 Supreme Court rejected the defense team’s appeal.
2016.03.17 The defense team applied for a retrial with the newly-found headshot photo and the expert opinions on the speed of hair-growing and on 3D facial recognition analysis
2016.07.25 The Kaohsiung High Court rejected the application for a retrial for the first time.
2016.09.22 The Supreme Court revoked the finding for the first time and remanded.
2016.11.30 The Kaohsiung High Court rejected the retrial for the second time.
2017.01.25 The Supreme Court revoked the finding for the second time and remanded.
2017.04.18 The Kaohsiung High Court ruled in favor of a retrial and stopped the execution.
2017.04.21 Lin Jingui was released.
2018.08.07 The Kaohsiung High Court announced the retrial and found Lin not guilty
2018.12.26 The Supreme Court revoked the original judgment and remanded it for revision
2020.12.03 The Kaohsiung High Court convicted Lin of murder
2021.11.03 The Supreme Court revoked the original judgment and remanded it for retrial
2022.08.30 The Kaohsiung High Court acquitted Lin.
2023.01.12 The Supreme Court upheld the original judgment and rejected the prosecution’s appeal, fully exonerating Lin.
The defense team applied for retrial with “Google driving route map.”
The defense team applied for a retrial with the newly-found headshot photo and the expert opinions on the speed of hair-growing and on 3D facial recognition analysis
The Kaohsiung High Court ruled in favor of a retrial and stopped the execution.
Lin Jingui was released.