The primary crime committed in the case of HKSAR vs. Chan Man Lok is the murder of the victim. The nature of the crime can be characterized as a violence crime. Violence crime is defined as the intentional infliction of physical injuries upon an unwilling victim. The nature of the crime as a violence crime is aggravated by the manner of committing the same. The victim was not immediately shot to death or was killed at an instant but was subjected to continuous infliction of physical injuries, as the findings reveal, took a month, causing the death of the deceased.
The deceased was subjected to acts of retaliation such as serious battering for a couple of days made by the accused alternately and the wounds resulted from the battering were subjected to burning. By all means, this has aggravated the pain, the injury and the insult suffered by the deceased in the hands of the evil perpetrators. Despite the absence of the aggravating circumstances, the act of murder is in itself a violence crime. Eyewitness Evidence
Eyewitness evidence is one made by a person who has personal knowledge of the crime or of the incident by reason of his being present at the scene of the crime sufficient to form a conclusion of conviction (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Witness, 2008). This is regarded as highly credible because more often than not, eyewitnesses are able to give a full account of the details of the crime. In the case of HKSAR vs. Chan Man Lok, one of the offenders and therefore have taken part in the act of manslaughter made a confession in open court the detailed narration on how the crime was committed.
It can be gleaned from the discussion of the high court in its decision that the statements made by PW2 match that of the medical findings and of the object evidence. This is one of the reasons why such testimony is given weight and sufficiency. This bolstered the liability of the accused D1 and D3. Positive identification, as has been discussed, increases the rate of conviction. This is because the court is certain of the personal participation of the accused once he is positively identified by one who has taken an oath to tell the truth.
The period of exposure is relevant. This is one of the factors in determining the reliability and credibility of the identification of the witness. In the instant case, there can be no doubt that the witness has observed the commission of the crime because he himself took part thereof. It can also be noted that as opined by Howitt (2006), most victims know their perpetrators. This is true in the instant case. The deceased is related to the accused by virtue of the loan contract between them. Thus, the deceased can be said to have known well the accused.
Moreover, the deceased and D3 were working under the same vice establishment. This truly supports the statement of Howitt. Jury Decision-making The counsels for the accused contended that the jury could have considered the factor of drug overdose on the part of the victim, the reason for its imposition of the penalty. The high court in dismissing this claim, totally disregarded on the manner how the jury assessed the facts and came out with the resolution. Moreover, the high court relied so much on proof beyond reasonable doubt in resolving the case in favor of conviction.
This resolution has been based on several pieces of direct and circumstantial evidence, on admission and confession of the accused and can not be disregarded simply because the jury has taken into account other factors which are not actually proven in the present case. It has been noted in a study conducted that the jury is less likely to formulate its decision exactly in the same manner laid down under the jury rules of procedure (http://www. ajs. org. /jc/juries/jc_decision_research. asp, 2008).
This could be one of the reasons why the high court simply disregarded how the jury came up with the decision, but which nevertheless affirmed the same not on the basis thereof but on proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The instant case is replete with tragic sequence of events that led to the death of the victim, thus, being attended by several forensic factors. To sum up, forensic factors include violence crime, offender profiling, jury decision-making and eyewitness evidence, the relevance of each has been discussed above.
It should be noted that forensic factors are germane to the case. What may be present in one case may not be true with another case, although the same criminal offense is committed. Yet worthy of notice is the interplay of these factors in a single case, considering that a crime does not exist for a single act alone, but is a product of a series of acts, each of which is a necessary means for the consummation of the crime as intended. Thus, it is but necessary to look at every aspect of the evidence for purposes of completely discharging the case, as in the instant case.
- Howitt, D. (2006). Introduction to Forensic and Criminal Psychology (2nd ed. ).
- Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited. No Author. (Date retrieved: May 1, 2008). http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Offender_profiling.
- No Author. (Date retrieved: May 1, 2008). http://www. ajs. org. /jc/juries/jc_decision_research. asp.
- No Author. (Date retrieved: May 1, 2008). http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Witness.
- No Author. (Date retrieved: May 1, 2008).