October 12, 2018 09:58
Most Koreans would like the death penalty to stay on the books even if it is not enforced.
A survey of 1,000 adults published by the National Human Rights Commission on Wednesday found that 59 percent of Koreans believe grounds for capital punishment should remain constitutional but have reservations about actually enforcing it.
The figure is essentially the same as in a similar survey taken 15 years ago, and the proportion of those who are for scrapping the death penalty entirely fell from 34.1 percent to 20.3 percent.
Korea has not executed anyone since 1997, so international observers have classified it as a country that has technically abolished capital punishment.
But according to the survey, the biggest reason for keeping the death penalty is a perceived increase in brutal crimes, and respondents seem to believe that capital punishment could act as a deterrent. At the same time, 70 percent said the death penalty should be scrapped if there is an alternative, though it is unclear what that might be.
Human rights groups are calling for stronger efforts to promote public awareness of the issue. Some 140 countries have either abolished capital punishment or stopped enforcing it, with the U.S. a notable exception.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com