Execution facilities neglected for 26 years… Minister Han Dong-hoon “Check properly”

It was reported on the 29th that Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon recently issued an order to “inspect execution facilities” to four correctional institutions nationwide equipped with execution facilities.

No executions have been carried out in South Korea since 1997. As a result, it is said that execution facilities in detention centers and prisons have been virtually neglected. Among correctional institutions nationwide, there are four execution facilities: Seoul Detention Center, Busan Detention Center, Daegu Prison, and Daejeon Prison. Minister Han is reported to have instructed these four places last week to “maintain the facilities properly as the death penalty is still in place.”

Korea maintains the death penalty system but has not carried out executions for a long time, so it is classified as a ‘de facto abolitionist country’. The last execution was carried out on 23 death row inmates in December 1997, during the Kim Young-sam administration. Since the Kim Dae-jung administration, which took office in February of the following year, there has not been a single execution.

Recently, as heinous crimes such as the shooting rampage at Sillim Station and Seohyeon Station and the sexual assault and death case in Sillim-dong Park broke out one after another and preventive measures were discussed, some pointed out that “the suspension of executions is giving criminals the wrong signal that ‘the death penalty has been abolished’.” It is becoming.

Regarding this order from Minister Han, the legal community analyzed that it “opens the possibility that executions can be carried out at any time, even if not immediately.” In this regard, an official from the Ministry of Justice said, “I understand that Minister Han gave the order to the effect that ‘law enforcement facilities must be properly maintained in a situation where the death penalty remains’.” It was said that it was too early to view it as an order with the premise of execution.

The Criminal Procedure Act stipulates that ‘death penalty shall be executed by order of the Minister of Justice’. When the Attorney General issues an execution order, the death penalty is carried out by hanging in a facility in a correctional facility.

Currently, the death penalty has been confirmed, but there are 59 prisoners whose execution has not been carried out. Serial killers such as Yoo Young-chul, Kang Ho-soon, and Jeong Doo-young are also included.

From 2003 to 2004, Yoo Yeong-cheol was investigated for committing serial murders of 21 elderly people and women on 17 occasions in downtown Seoul, as well as crimes such as arson and abandonment of dead bodies. The method of the crime was also bizarre, such as burying 11 victims’ bodies in pieces and burning 3 bodies. In the course of the investigation, Yoo Young-cheol was known to have stated, “If I hadn’t been arrested, I would have killed 100 more people” and “I ate some of the organs of the corpse,” and bought public outrage. Yoo Yeong-chul was found guilty of murdering 20 people and sentenced to death, except for one murder case, which the court judged innocent because there was not enough evidence.

Kang Ho-soon was indicted in 2009 for the murder of 10 women, including her wife and mother-in-law. Kang Ho-soon said in the first trial that she set fire to her mother-in-law’s house in 2005 and killed her wife and mother-in-law, and she was found guilty스포츠토토 of abducting and killing eight of her children from 2006 to 2008. sentenced to death It was investigated that Kang Ho-soon set fire to her mother-in-law’s house for the purpose of collecting her insurance money. She was also sentenced to death in the second trial in 2009, but she did not appeal to the Supreme Court, so her death sentence was confirmed.

Jeong Doo-young was convicted of 23 crimes, including robbery and murder, in Busan, Gyeongnam, and Daejeon from 1998 to 2000, killing 9 elderly people and women, and injuring 10 others, and was sentenced to death in 2001.

They are also said to have poor attitudes in prison. One of them allegedly assaulted a prison guard. In 2016, while serving a sentence in Daejeon Prison, Jeong Doo-young was caught trying to climb over the prison wall with a ladder made of plastic pipes for work.

Yoo Yeong-cheol is imprisoned in Daegu Prison, while Kang Ho-soon and Jung Doo-yeong are imprisoned in Seoul Detention Center. A lawyer said, “I understand that these heinous criminals are nervous after hearing that the Ministry of Justice has repaired the execution facility.”

Public opinion on the death penalty is predominantly in favor of ‘it should be maintained’. In a 2021 Gallup Korea poll, 779 out of 1007 respondents (77.3%) answered that the death penalty should be maintained. In addition, 95.5% of the 779 people who said the death penalty should be maintained, responded that the death penalty should be executed for the heinous criminals.

The Constitutional Court made two decisions on the constitutionality of the death penalty in 1996 and 2010. Since then, the third constitutional petition for the abolition of the death penalty has been filed and is currently being reviewed by the Constitutional Court. A legal professional said, “Considering the recent change in the composition of the Constitutional Court judges and public opinion on heinous crimes, the possibility of a decision of unconstitutionality in this constitutional complaint seems low.”

On the other hand, the theory of abolition of the death penalty has been raised in terms of respect for life and the possibility of reformation. In addition, given the possibility of wrong judgement, some argue that the death penalty should be abolished because execution, once carried out, cannot be reversed. Regarding this, a lawyer said, “Shouldn’t we leave the topic of a vicious criminal who has killed more than 10 people and has not been rehabilitated?”

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