Does capital punishment belong in Korea?

Does the death penalty belong in Korea?

SOURCE: tumbler

At a press conference on September 4, Saenuri Party presidential candidate Park Geun-hye said, “The death penalty must be upheld to prevent heinous crimes.”

According to an October 2009 report by the Ministry of Justice, the South Korean government executed 920 criminals between 1949 and 1997. The last twenty-three executions took place at the end of Kim Young-sam’s presidency. Although there are currently fifty-eight prisoners on death row, there haven’t been any executions since. The death penalty has been upheld during President Lee Myung-bak’s administration with the concern that abolishing it would make it more difficult to maintain law and order.

According to UK newspaper The Guardian, 139 countries still have the death penalty. The Hakbo asked ten Kangnam University students their opinions on the death penalty.

“The death penalty is a warning to criminals.” – Kang Sung-koo (junior, Library and Information Science)

“Although Korea doesn’t practice capital punishment, there should be the possibility that criminals can be put to death.” – Myeong Hae-jin (sophomore, English Literature)

“Some people insist on the abolition of capital punishment because we must respect the rights of others. But who compensates the victims who suffer from these condemned criminals? Are the rights of victims less important than the rights of condemned criminals? If there isn’t going to be a death penalty, there will have to be longer prison sentences. I think that is the way to protect condemned criminals who are executed unfairly.” – Lee Eun-ho (junior, Library and Information Science)

“Because all people are afraid to die, most criminals stop short of murder.” – Nam Ki-ye (sophomore, Law)

“We don’t have to guarantee criminals’ human rights. A few days ago, I saw on the news that a sex offender was sentenced to only 15 years in prison although he ruined a girl’s life and that of her father’s. It’s unfair. I think he must suffer the ultimate punishment by the law.” – Kwon Tae-yoon (freshman, Theology)

“The death penalty has to be upheld to maintain law and order.” – Jung Jae-min (sophomore, English Literature)

“People who kill other people must be killed.” – Park Jae-chil (sophomore, Theology)

“The death penalty must not only be upheld, but practiced. Capital punishment is the best way to give criminals fear. It is the barricade to protect people. Condemned criminals must pay the fiddler.” – Lee Ji-eun (junior, Philosophy)

“The money for meals that condemned criminals eat is such a waste.” – Song Chai-young (junior, English Literature)

“People don’t have the right to kill even the people who murder. Plus, murderers have to live with a guilty conscience for the rest of their lives.” – Kwak You-jin (sophomore, English Literature)

Nine of the ten students asked support the death penalty. How about you?

By Han Jini

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