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Innocent life lost due to miscarriage of justice

By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by Adeline Lee

A girl was abducted, raped and killed in a toilet by the murderer who then discarded her corpse elsewhere. This most hideous and gruesome crime occurred in Taiwan.

That same night, a young soldier by the name of Jiang Guo-qing used the same toilet, and masturbated himself. His semen sprayed onto a piece of toilet paper in the rubbish bin.

This piece of toilet paper was stained with the girl’s blood.

On the same piece of toilet paper, there was the blood of the victim, and the suspect's semen. The prosecution examined and confirmed that the semen was that of Jiang Guo-qing.

Under torture, Jiang Guo-qing admitted that he had raped and killed the girl.

Very soon, he was brought to the execution ground and shot.

Before his death, he had repeatedly claimed that he was wronged and that he did not rape and murder the girl.

He was deprived of his life, and branded a rapist and a murderer. Even after his execution, he was still hated and reviled. His family was also looked down upon by the community.

Fifteen years later, the authorities caught the real killer Xu Rong-zhou; who admitted that he had committed 47 cases of sexual assault, including that of the girl who was raped and murdered in the toilet.

Xu Rong-zhou expressed regrets to the family of Jiang Guo-qing who died an unjust death because of him.

However, an innocent life had been unjustly deprived, because of the negligence of the investigators, the prejudice of the prosecution officials, and the haste of the justice system.

This will always be an irreparable regret, as Jiang Guo-qing cannot come back to life.

This bizarre case has challenged people's imagination and also challenged the non-specific boundaries of morality.

Similar incidents may also occur in other societies. When law enforcement agencies act rashly, sometimes in order to fulfil the assignment, or to meet the expectations of the society, they often use unreasonable interrogation methods, and act only to hastily close the case. The result may be a grave injustice.

The Kugan Ananthan case in Selangor should give enough warning.

Law enforcement officials should strictly observe due process when handling cases, and cannot let their feelings and emotions dictate their actions, so that they can be fair and objective.

Jiang Guo-qing’s case has also led to a review, reevaluation and reconsideration of the death penalty.

If there had been no death penalty, or the death penalty was imposed only when absolutely necessary, then Jiang Guo-qing could have been imprisoned for 15 years, got his grievance cleared, his innocence reinstated, and would then be able to return to society.

However, in a society that implements the death penalty, he did not have this opportunity.

This reminds us of Yong Vui Kong who is imprisoned in Singapore, with his fate still undecided.

If he is given a chance and spared the gallows, it would be a very joyous Chinese New Year for his family, friends, and many Malaysians who are appealing for mercy and clemency for him.

Sin Chew Daily

MySinchew 2011-01-31

 

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