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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Improving human rights needs actions not just a report - Part 2

Dean Zain's case:

Dean Zain is a British expat who is accused of killing a newspaper deliveryman while driving under influence of alcohol in Taiwan.

The most recent news report from the Taipei Times

Mr. Zain asked the prosecutors to release road videos near where the accident took place, and requested court presence of a human rights observer, which are quite reasonable by western standard but refused by Taiwan's justice system.

Right at the very end of the above link,

“We’ll work hard to capture the escaped offender,” Ma said.

But I wish Mr. Ma was not talking about the "offender" who has been assumed guilty until proven innocent.

A blog post from the View from Taiwan shortly after Dean Zain's accident and his statement:

Another post shortly after Dean Zain received a verdict:’s-trial/

And Mr. Zain's recent statements:

The above post has led us to the "must-read" excellent links for understanding Taiwan's justice system written by Brian Kennedy, an American attorney living in Taiwan.  If you haven't read these links from my previous post's references section, you should read them now.
See Judging the judges
See Taiwan's Criminal Justice System: Clash of Cultures

Well, I don't know anyone in Dean Zain's case, but if I were a jury as in the Northern American justice system, I would question the prosecutors as to why there was no road video exist in this case when there are in fact many cameras along the road.

And this news article further made readers believe that Taiwan's road surveillance system is quite good, but when it comes to Dean Zain's case, the cameras were not working???

After reading nearly all the news and comments in this case I have concluded that the judge has reached a verdict without any proof of Zain's guilty charge.  Not only me but many foreign expats in Taiwan who read news from a variety of sources have the same conclusion as me including this one that I just discovered from the internet, who shared the same view as me - Dean Zain GUPI - and putting this as the title of his post, so I will link it because I really like reading the "truth" in Taiwan and not those government propaganda stuff.

Mr. Zain said he was the passenger and not the driver in a hit and run accident involving driving under influence of alcohol, so the justice system actually needs to investigate if a driver offered by the  KTV may have been the driver who caused the accident and killed a newspaper deliveryman.

This is exactly what the judge should focus on without any media pressure or media influence in Taiwan!

Did Mr. Zain lie or is the KTV owner a close friend of the prosecutors?

And why in Taiwan a KTV employee is allowed to drive a client's car? or is it not allowed but they do it anyway?

In north America, only the person(s) insured under a car insurance plan (i.e. listed as drivers for the car) are allowed to drive the car.  Clearly one of the lessons we learned from this case is that:

In future, only a client's relative or friend, or a taxi driver should be allowed to take the client home, leaving the client's car behind to be picked up the next day. The only time that a client's car can be used to drive him / her home is when a relative or friend of the client is also listed as a driver sharing the same car as the client under an insurance plan and has not consumed alcohol at that moment.  If parking is a problem, a client should simply go to and leave an entertainment place, where alcohols are served, by a taxi when they know in advance that they may drink excessively.

Unrelated to Mr. Zain's case, but a recent news that shows Taiwan's prosecutors should press charges carefully and should respect people's right to assembly.
See Student protest Laosheng

Taiwan suspended death penalty executions during the DPP era, but has resumed with the Ma administration.  With the justice system stands the way it is now, is Mr. Ma, a Harvard-educated law scholar (without passing any law exam, Ma cannot be called a Harvard-educated lawyer) satisfied with his justice department's handling of each case of capital punishment conviction?

No one should be pronounced guilty until proven innocent.  This is simply respecting human rights.

Mr. Ma signs papers such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to appear good but people are waiting for him to act!

In conclusion, improving the quality of the judges is an imminent task in Taiwan. Taiwan resumed executions of inmates, but low-quality judges and death penalty simply cannot coexist.

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