'Milkshake murderer' trial fair, judges rule
"Milkshake murderer" Nancy Kissel's last attempt to overturn her conviction was dismissed by Hong Kong's top court because the judges found that the evidence and facts had been fairly put before the jury.
The Court of Final Appeal's Justice Roberto Ribeiro, Justice Robert Tang Ching and Justice Joseph Fok yesterday handed down the reasons for dismissing Kissel's application last month.
They stated in the judgment that Kissel, 49, admitted she had used a lead ornament to hit and kill her husband, Robert, on November 2, 2003. She called expert witnesses to prove that she was suffering from depression, and they asserted that she had diminished responsibility for the criminal act.
Kissel said the trial was unfair as the prosecution failed to address her experts' evidence.
But the top court found the prosecution was not required to put forward an argurment against Kissel's claims of diminished responsibility. "The applicant (Kissel) bore the burden of proof on diminished responsibility. It was not for the prosecution to prove the contrary," Justice Tang wrote.
Tang said it was the prosecution's case that Kissel had planned to kill her husband and she had made a determined and conscious attempt to conceal the crime.
"On the facts of this case, the prosecution was perfectly entitled to advance the case that the applicant was a cold-blooded murderess. The verdict shows that the jury agreed," Tang wrote.
Kissel was first convicted of murder in 2005, but the conviction was overturned in 2010. She faced a retrial in 2011 and was convicted of murder again. She was sentenced to life in prison.