Say NO to Judicial Indolence and Sham Justice
A Press Conference by NGOs Supporting Chiou Ho-shun
Time: 21 May (Thursday) 10 a.m.
Place: National Taiwan University Alumni Club (Conference Room 3C, 2-1, Chi-Nan Rd., Sec. 1, Taipei)
The kidnapping and presumed murder of Hsinchu schoolboy Lu Cheng in 1987 aroused great public concern. Twelve suspects arrested in the case were indicted by the public prosecutor's office solely on the basis of mutually contradictory "confessions" made during police interrogation. It has been proven that these confessions were extracted by torture. The case has been under trial for 22 years, bouncing back and forth between the High Court and the Supreme Court in a drawn-out cycle of appeals, vacated judgments, and remands, becoming the longest-running undecided case with defendants in detention in Taiwan's judicial history.
On 13 April 2009, the Taiwan High Court once again convicted the defendants in the Lu Cheng case, sentencing Chiou Ho-shun to death, Lin Kun-ming to 17 years in prison, and Wu Shu-chen to 11 years in prison. A number of NGOs have expressed dissatisfaction with the court's judgment and are launching a campaign to support the defendants. These groups include the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Judicial Reform Foundation, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, and Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty. In addition to supporting justice for Chiou Ho-shun and the other defendants, the campaign seeks to ameliorate the judiciary and justice overall in Taiwan.
While we expect our judiciary to deliver justice for victims and for society, this justice must come at the expense of depriving others of their rights. Over 20 years have gone by in the Chiou Ho-shun case and still the only evidence in the conviction and heavy sentencing of Chiou and the other defendants is a story spliced together out of contradictory confessions made under torture. High Court convictions in the case have been overturned and remanded for retrial 10 times so far. The continuing investigation, rather than bringing the truth of the case to light, has obscured it and placed justice ever farther out of reach. The many judges that have heard the case over the years have consistently turned a deaf ear to the defendants' arguments and handed down judgments that simply re-fabricate the same threadbare and contradiction-ridden accounts of events. Two decades of protracted litigation have reflected not judicial diligence and care, but rather judicial indolence. This judicial indolence and the sham justice it has served up have prolonged for two decades the grief suffered by the victim's family.
The Taiwan Association for Human Rights and NGO representatives concerned about this case will hold a joint press conference at 10 a.m. on 21 May (Thursday) at the National Taiwan University Alumni Club. At this press conference we will voice our concerns about the High Court judgment and some chronic maladies of criminal procedure in Taiwan it reflects, and appeal to the public to demand judicial reform and the protection of basic human rights.
10 a.m. Moderator: Tsai Chi-hsun (蔡季勳) (Secretary General, Taiwan Association for Human Rights)
10:02-10:10 a.m. Skit
Attorney Wellington Koo (顧立雄) (Executive Board Member, Taiwan Association for Human Rights)
Attorney Lin Feng-jeng (林峰正) (Executive Director, Judicial Reform Foundation)
Attorney Kao Yung-Cheng (高涌誠) (Deputy Convenor, Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty)
Attorney Robin J. Winkler (文魯彬) (Director, Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association)