December 13, 2004 17:10
Yoo Young-chul, a 34-year-old serial killer convicted for murdering 21 people, was sentenced to death Monday.
The Seoul Central District Court said in its ruling that Yoo's killing of 20 people, mostly women and elderly people, represented an unprecedented catalogue of serial murders in Korean history and could not be treated with enough gravity.
The court said that even though Yoo showed signs of regret and introspection during the final trial, this was scant compensation for the enormous psychological and physical pain his anti-social and destructive acts caused to the victims and the bereaved families, as well as the afterwaves of shock they had sent through society - making the death penalty unavoidable.
The defense counsel said it has yet to decide whether to appeal against the ruling. According to Article 349 of the Criminal Procedure Law, when a death penalty is passed down, the accused has seven days to lodge an appeal. If he does not appeal within that period, the window of opportunity will automatically close.
The persecutors had demanded capital punishment for Yoo, who was charged with killing 21 women and senior citizens from September 2003 until July this year, in addition to mutilating and burying 11 corpses and burning another three of the bodies.
(Geum Won-seop, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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