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Innocence Project Founded in Taiwan on Dec.17, 2011

Prof. Wang Jaw-Perng

On Dec. 17, 2011, National Taiwan University law professor Wang Jaw-Perng and three local attorneys announced the establishment of Taiwan Innocence Project. Besides the above-mentioned four initiators, 33 people working in the fields of culture, medicine, religion and social advocacy joined the project.

The project aims to help exonerate those who are actually innocent of the crimes they were convicted of committing and push for legislation and policymaking to prevent miscarriages of justice from happening again.

The U.S.-based Innocence Project inspired the creation of Taiwan Innocence Project and promised to provide it with scientific assistance, according to professor Wang.

The rectification of Chiang Kuo-ching case accelerated the creation of this organization. Chiang, who was convicted of raping and murdering a 5-year old girl and executed in Aug. 1997, was acquitted in a posthumous trial on Sept. 13, 2011.

Now Taiwan Innocence Project is endeavouring to exonerate Cheng Hsin-tze, who was convicted of murdering a police officer in 2002 and sentenced to death penalty. The confession of Cheng was allegedly obtained through torture.

Taiwan Innocence Project will raises money from the public, and wrongful convicted persons need not pay for the DNA testing fee.

Read more here and here….

5 responses to “Innocence Project Founded in Taiwan on Dec.17, 2011

  1. Shyuan, this is very exciting news. One can assume that wrongful conviction occurs to varying degrees in every country relating to the justice system, of course, but also to the culture. I met an English couple who had lived 15 years in Japan. We got on the topic of wrongful conviction, and they said that they thought the level of cultural deference to authority, which is relatively high in Japan, increases the potential for wrongful conviction. America was born out of challenge to authority and this is part of our culture. Yet, even Americans have been reluctant to challenge the authority of police, prosecutors, and judges. Do you think this is a relevant consideration in China?

  2. Exactly. Chinese are reluctant to chanllenge the authority of police, prosecutors and judges too.
    But it is worth noting that, even defendants and their attorneys in mainland China try their best to challenge the authority of police, prosecutors and judges, they probably will find that their endeavours are futile, because in some cases the judges are not very neutral and impartial.
    According to Article 7 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China, police, prosecutors and courts should coordinate and check with one another to ensure the correct and effective enforcement of law. But In reality, they work together as a team and overwhelmingly stress cooperation rather than checks in the fight against crime. So judges sometimes join hands with police and prosecutors in making cases against the suspects, acting more like prosecutors than neutral and impartial adjudicators in trial. It is not surprising that the defendants and their lawyers are marginalized within the criminal justice system, and prosecutors almost never lose cases brought to trial. In 2009, 997872 suspects were tried in China and 996666 were found guilty, with a conviction rate of over 99.88 percent. Even a judge is clearly aware that there are insufficient evidence to prove the guilt of a defendant, he sometimes would rather impose a lenient sentence than acquit the defendant of his charge, because if the judge acquit the defendant, the police officers who investigated the case and the prosecutor who filed the charge probalbly would have to assume responsibility for it even they have not committed misconducts.

  3. Thank you, Shiyuan. This is very interesting. I believe that in the U.S., for example, the state conviction rate for felony sexual assault cases is 62 percent, whereas in China it would seem that an indictment is nearly synonymous with conviction.

  4. Pingback: Execution Imminent in Taiwan | Wrongful Convictions Blog

  5. Pingback: International Expansion of the Innocence Movement in 2012 | Wrongful Convictions Blog

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