Blog: Remorse and 'justice' Taiwan-style
Dave Leggett | 14 August 2003
A former Taipei County police officer who killed two elderly motorcycle riders while driving drunk had his sentence reduced after he reached a settlement with the victims' family and asked his wife to pray at the victims' altar every day, the China Times Express reported yesterday.
One morning in early November last year, Lin Chih-cheng, a former officer at the Sanshia police precinct, was driving home after a late-night drinking party with friends. While on Huanho Rd. in Hsinchuang township, Lin crashed into a motorcycle ridden by an elderly man and his wife.
The two riders were thrown from the motorbike and died at the scene, while Lin did not stop and dragged the motorcycle under his car for another two kilometers. He then took his car to a body shop to cover up the damage, the newspaper reported.
However, Lin changed his mind and reported the incident to the Yingko police station, also admitting to drinking and driving. Witnesses also used the car's license plate number to report him.
Lin had already agreed to a NT$3 million settlement with the victims' family when he first went on trial. However, as Lin did not initially claim responsibility for the deaths at the Yingko station, the judge refused to reduce his sentence of two years and 10 months on the charges of public endangerment and negligence resulting in death.
However, in an appellate ruling, the Taiwan High Court decided that Lin should have his sentence reduced because he turned himself in. Also, as Lin had no prior criminal record and has agreed to a settlement and to have his wife visit the victims' altar daily, the court believed that Lin regretted the incident.
His sentence was thus reduced to two years, and suspended for five years to let him "start a new life," according to the newspaper.
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