The Supreme Court overturned the death sentences handed down in both the first and second trials for Hsieh Yi-han (謝依涵) when she was convicted of two murders, and remanded the case to the Taiwan High Court for review.
Hsieh, manager of the Mama Mouth Cafe in New Taipei City’s Bali District (八里), was convicted of drugging and murdering Chen Chin-fu (陳進福) and Chang Tsui-ping (張翠萍) in February 2013 and dumping their corpses in the Tamsui River (淡水河).
Hsieh stole NT$350,000 from Chen and attempted to withdraw more money from his wife’s bank account by disguising herself as the murdered woman. The couple had considered Hsieh a god-daughter and entrusted her with their personal chops.
Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision, the lawyer for the victims’ families, Wei Yi-lung (魏憶龍), said that no matter what the ruling was, the loss of the two was an inconsolable blow to their families.
The Supreme Court returned the case to the lower court after questioning whether it was appropriate after Taiwan signed into law the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Clause 2 of Article 6 of the ICCPR stipulates: “In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant and to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This penalty can only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court.”