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United Daily News: Message sent out by failed case

United Daily News: Message sent out by failed case

Taiwan editorial abstract (File 6 of a daily roundup) A man who was accused of sexually assaulting a girl and inflicting serious injuries upon her was found not guilty after being tried by 70 judges over 13 years.
The girl died from her injuries long before justice had taken its course and her mother said in despair that she no longer even cares who the actual attacker was and that all she wanted was for the court to spare their family the further ordeal of giving testimony in the case.
The man accused in the case has not fared any better than the victim's family. His alleged involvement in the case made it difficult for him to land a job and lead a normal life.
The case highlights the importance of the proper investigation of crimes. Without an iron-clad case, whatever efforts made by judges to find the truth during the trial will be to no avail.
In the last decade, the country has focused its efforts on revising the Criminal Procedure Code on the due process of trials to eliminate the practice of coercing confessions and reduce the possibility of mistrials.
But this is not enough. It should give more attention to the investigation of crimes before the trial, offer better protection to the victims, and improve their position and rights in the trial.
Repeated trials will not find the truth -- only thorough and meticulous investigation can do that.
Law enforcement officials should not be given unrealistic deadlines to find criminals and their skills in probing crimes should be improved, while prosecutors should consider it shameful if their charges against defendants are dismissed by court.
The trial procedure should also be speeded up. The court of appeal should not examine evidence already verified in the first trial and the Supreme Court should be limited to reviewing whether the lower court rulings were properly based on the law.
This case also shows that the trial process harms the victims of crime, forcing them to reopen their wounds again and again, which is why so many of them prefer to abstain from giving testimony in court.
Justice in this case was terribly poorly served, and the law enforcement authorities should learn a lesson from it.
(By Maubo Chang)




Updated : 2021-05-12 23:58 GMT+08:00