August 09, 2004 20:35
Cha Hyung-geun, the counsel for accused serial killer Yoo Young-chul, said Sunday, “It is a biased view if you think Yoo doesn’t regret what he committed. He wants to apologize to victims and their bereaved families, but he has not had an opportunity.” “Genuine revenge is to make him regret his crimes,” the lawyer added. Yoo Young-chul has been condemned as an unprecedented serial killer and the worst villain since the nation was founded.
I heard that you persuaded Yoo to have you as his counsel.
Before, I was embarrassed because the media reported that I would represent him even when I did not take the case. Yoo told the prosecution Thursday that he wanted to meet me. I met him at the prison for one and an hour and a half the next day.
Why did you decide to take Yoo’s case?
I discussed and decided on it with Father Lee Young-woo. I have been working for the abolishment of death penalty, so, I think that I have to represent Yoo.
I heard that you have received threatening calls after you voluntarily decided to represent Yoo.
Someone said that he would blow up my office, and someone suddenly cursed and swore at me.
Has Yoo shown signs of changing his attitude?
It is a prejudiced view if you think that Yoo doesn’t regret what he did. Yoo wanted to apologize to victims’ families when police questioned him, but escort police officers banned him from saying anything, poking him in his ribs. During the on-site inspections, he just stood still, as police instructed. He appeared on the media as if he shamelessly did not regret his crimes, and he felt sorry about that.
Why did Yoo so strongly want to be moved to other prison?
He told me that he feels painful to think that there are other condemned criminals in Seoul Prison and they may be executed due to him
Yoo hasn’t given up on living?
He himself thinks that he cannot avoid capital punishment.
Everyone believes Yoo will be sentenced to death. Why did you take his case?
Yoo has been abandoned and hurt by society. I think it is important that we should show interest in him and warmly taken him in so that he feels, even if for a moment, that he has lived as a human being. In addition, if a condemned criminal is penitent about his crimes, it greatly affects other inmates.
Capital punishment abolitionists often receive the question, “What if your family members were cruelly killed?”
If my family members were murdered, it would be natural to want to kill the murderer in the same way. Genuine revenge, however, is to make him regret his crimes.
Yoo complained to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, citing violations of human rights in prison.
In his solitary cell, a monitoring camera is turned on around the cloak. He is also tied with chains, so he cannot go to the toilet.
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