April 06, 2005 21:36
The National Human Rights Commission on Wednesday agreed the death penalty should be abolished and will make a recommendation to the National Assembly to that effect. The nine-member commission reached the non-binding decision by a majority of eight.
"The life of a human being is an absolute right and is not the nation's to take away," one member said. But Kim Ho-jun, the sole dissenter, said, "It is hard to deny that capital punishment is a deterrent to hideous crimes to some extent. The death penalty can be an effective punishment for inhuman crimes like serial killing."
In a survey conducted at the request of the National Human Rights Commission in 2003, 65.9 percent of respondents wanted the death penalty kept and only 34.1 percent said it should be abolished.
The National Assembly's judiciary committee is discussing a special abolition bill sponsored by 175 ruling and opposition lawmakers, including ruling Uri Party Rep. Yoo In-tae.
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