懸峙陪審團 Hung Jury in the Epping Murder Trial

Robert Xie trial jury discharged after failing to reach verdict over Lin family murders

The wife of the accused Lin family murderer Robert Xie has proclaimed her husband's innocence after a jury was unable to reach a verdict following his marathon trial.

"My husband is innocent and we will never, ever give up," Kathy Lin declared outside court after the jury in the trial was discharged.

Mrs Lin asked the media to "please respect my privacy" before walking from the court flanked by a Salvation Army Chaplain and a friend.

The comments came after Justice Elizabeth Fullerton formally discharged the jury, which had been unable to reach a verdict despite persevering through a nine-month trial and 11 days of deliberations.

Mr Xie, 51, bowed to the jury but remained composed as Justice Elizabeth Fullerton thanked the jury for their efforts.

"This is not something you should take as a personal failure of any of you," Justice Fullerton said.

"I thank each of you for your toils, your good humour, hard work, your patience."

"Ladies and gentlemen each of you are discharged."

Mr Xie's wife, Kathy Lin, who has supported her husband from the moment he was charged, burst into tears as the jury walked from the court room.

For a few moments, the couple stood less than two metres apart, separated by a corrective services officer who stopped them from touching.

As he left, Mr Xie's composure finally cracked and, despite his best efforts, he began to cry as he was taken away from his wife.

After the jury was discharged, Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi, QC, immediately indicated that the Director of Public Prosecutions was seeking a retrial and that Mr Xie should remain in custody until that occurred.

Justice Fullerton said that she would seek to have the new trial listed for late February or early March next year.

Mr Xie's defence barrister Graham Turnbull, SC, said he would be applying for his client's release on bail on Friday ahead of the new trial, but foreshadowed that he might not be representing him in the retrial.

Family bludgeoned to death

Mrs Lin has steadfastly maintained her husband's innocence from the moment he first came under suspicion for the murder of her brother Min "Norman" Lin, and Mr Lin's family in July 2009.

Mr Xie, 51, is accused of murdering Mr Lin, his wife Lily, their two sons Henry, 11, and Terry, 9, and Lily's sister Irene, in their North Epping home.

The discovery of the family's bodies, bludgeoned to death in the bedrooms, had a devastating effect on the small, suburban community and shocked many across the state.

It took a further 20 months before Mr Xie was arrested over the crime, for which he has pleaded not guilty.

The prosecution had alleged that Mr Xie was driven by a combination of bitter resentment over what he saw as the Lins' favoured status within the broader family group, and a desire to get his hands on his brother-in-law's financial assets.

It says the former restaurant owner allegedly crept into their house using the key he and his wife had been given, and then beat the Lins to death with a hammer-like object in their bedrooms.

Kathy Lin gave sworn evidence during the trial that her husband was with her in bed on the night in question and never left their bed, effectively providing him with an alibi.

Mr Xie's defence maintained that one man, acting alone and in the dark, could not have killed five people in their bedrooms without any one escaping or raising the alarm.

The discharge followed two separate notes from the jury indicating that they were unable to reach a verdict.

The second note was followed by a direction from Justice Fullerton that she would accept a majority verdict from 11 of the 12 jurors.

But the jury was still unable to agree.

At nine-and-a-half months, the trial was the longest murder trial involving a single accused in the state's history.

After the evidence and final directions were completed two weeks ago, Justice Fullerton ordered that the jury be sequestered together in a hotel while they deliberated so that they could focus on their task.

After discharging the jury, Justice Fullerton indicated that she would make an order that they be excused from any further jury service for the rest of their lives. 

(1/12/2015 Sydney Morning Herald)

不知不覺間這是我第12篇評論Epping Murder案了,中文傳媒叫它做葉坪滅門案。我一向都不看好控方證據足以把兇手繩之於法,因為控方只靠推論(inference), 我不敢講那些推論是唯一的推論,足以推斷被告是兇手,我也理解陪審團經歷11天商討也未能達成裁決的原因。6年前發生的滅門案,審訊一波三折。上一次在審訊途中出現新資料,使控方修改指控的論據而導致解散陪審團。這一次連法律爭議在內,審訊歷時9個月,陪審團帶備行李入住酒店,商討了11天都未能達成裁決。當商討了10天後,法官昨天訓示陪審團,可以接納並非一致的裁決(unanimous), 即是12個陪審員,11比1也收貨,可是,再商討一天後,陪審團再次不能達成裁決,法官唯有解散陪審團。因為涉及5條人命,主控官立即申請重審,辯方也不反對,就算反對也枉然。


1.someone acquitted of a ‘life sentence offence’ (murder, violent gang rapes, large commercial supply or production of illegal drugs) where there is ‘fresh and compelling’ evidence of guilt;

2.someone acquitted of a ‘15 years or more sentence offence’ where the acquittal was tainted (by perjury, bribery or perversion of the course of justice); and,

3.someone acquitted in a judge-only trial or where a judge directed the jury to acquit.

故此就算重審後本案被告脫罪,也不能一勞永逸,不能plead autrefios acquit, 不知甚麽時候冒出新證據,或者他老婆調轉槍頭,肯作供指證案發當晚及案發後的蛛絲馬跡,也未可料。解散了的陪審員可終身免疫,再選入局的陪審員不知是禍是福,9個月的審訊對人的生活作息影響很大,我就一點都不擔心,因為我對本案有一定看法,不能作公正裁決,否則,無業遊民每日收$200幾的陪審員津貼另加法庭距離住所里數的車馬費,算起港幣都有千三、四元,也算不俗。


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