Tuesday, April 01, 2008

[The Chosun Ilbo, March 19 2008] Capital Punishment Reconsidered

South Korea became a capital punishment “abolitionist in practice” on Dec. 30 last year. Though legally maintaining the death penalty for capital crimes like murder, it has in effect abolished the penalty by not executing it for a decade. The title is given by Amnesty International. The executions of 23 people on death row on Dec. 30, 1997 under the Kim Young-sam administration were the last of their kind. Fifty-eight convicts remain theoretically on death row.


Indignant voices are being raised on the Internet over a series of recent brutal murders, so that does not necessarily seem to be the case. Websites concerning the murder of a mother and her three daughters by a former professional baseball player and that of two schoolgirls in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province are flooded with angry comments. The criminals must be executed, they demand. This is not the first case of this kind. It is repeated whenever particularly brutal murders take place, like the murder of 21 people by the serial killer Yoo Young-chul.

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