Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bang that gavel down, case closed

Nancy Kissel officially lost her appeal yesterday.

According to ATV last night, the judge evidently spent only a few minutes to completely dismiss the case. I thought this would happen. I am surprised he/she/they/it took this long to deliver the opinion.

The Kissel legal team is going to appeal to a higher court (Equivalent of the Supreme Court in the US) but I don't think that will go anywhere either.

I know my position on this case is strange because I think Nancy Kissel is guilty as Hell but should still be released. I think if she'd had legal council that really understood the Hong Kong legal system and gotten her to plead guilty, show some remorse, set out the extenuating circumstances and thrown herself on the mercy of the court then she'd be a free woman today. When a third-strike child molester gets 8 years in prison and government social workers start lining up to vainly try and "rehabilitate" him from the day gets locked up then Nancy Kissel's sentence is unjust.

I will admit however, to losing a little sympathy for her after this last court appearance. I was sympathetic towards her situation because I feel that the legal system in Hong Kong is capricious and that very often the punishment does not fit the crime. That, to me should be the basis for her appeal. Instead her lawyers are trying to argue legal loopholes. This is not the US. Hong Kong does not have anything close to the US "Bill of Rights." As far as I can tell from reading the Basic Law, we do not have the presumption of innocence in court either. It just seems to me that Nancy's legal team are simply chasing butterflies.

To compound this problem, there was Nancy's mother on TV talking about how her daughter has developed "health problems" in prison and is now often too weak to walk. Maybe it really is true but I do not know many, non-paralyzed 50 year old women that require a wheelchair. Whatever else the prisons in Hong Kong may be, they are not like those in the non-SAR bits of China, Thailand, Cambodia or Mexico. This "developed health problems while in prison" bit looks like a cheap stunt to get her term reduced to time served. If I am wrong about this I sincerely apologize. I just can't see how she isn't faking. If that is the case, maybe she was lying about being afraid of her husband in her first trial.

I'd feel better about releasing her if she'd come to court fit, maybe tanned and looking like she spent time in the prison weight room trying to flirt with the guards and said. "I am innocent because that man threatened me and my children and getting him away from my kids was the best thing I ever did. I sent him to Hell and he deserved it!" Instead, she tries to make me feel sorry for her and that's not going to work.

I've been call cynical before.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who still thinks that the HK legal system is broken and blames the British


Anonymous said...

It was premeditated murder. Not spur of the moment.

She had her chances to get out of the marriage.

I have no sympathy for her at all.

But you are right, the punishment often does not fit the crime.

Not only in Hong Kong, around the world people seem to get off easy.

Fines and good behaviour bonds don't cut it. Jail should be used more often.

It's amazing how many times you will hear people saying they were sorry about the crimes they committed.

But it's only after they were caught.

Fai Mao said...

We do not disagree. She planned it out though only 1/2 as well as she should have.

Mike Poole said...

Fai Mo, just a couple of minor points. The case was closed quickly but that's not unusual in cases with complex judgements - the court just states whether or not the appeal was successful, then issues a written judgement. This one ran to 271 pages. The other point is that the presumption of innocence is guaranteed under Article 87 of the Basic Law and Article 11 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance, which is also the article under which appeals are possible.

Having written all that,I very much enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for keeping at it, even though you find it difficult to post sometimes.

Fai Mao said...

If we are presumed innocent under those sections of the basic law then why are we required to pay HK income tax a year ahead? The reason they state is that they are afraid ex-pats will skip out back to the US/UK or wherever and not pay their tax. Thus we are all guilty before hand.

Anyway, Thanks for the nice words

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