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National Human Rights Commission to Recommend Abolishment of Capital Punishment

National Human Rights Commission to Recommend Abolishment of Capital Punishment

Posted March. 28, 2005 23:01,   


The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) agreed on Monday to recommend the government abolish the death penalty.

The NHRC held its “Seventh Plenary Committee 2005” meeting on March 28 and discussed issues regarding ways to address the death penalty. The commission announced that nine out of the 10 commissioners supported the abolishment of capital punishment. Commissioner Kim Ho-joon was the only member who voted for retaining the death penalty.

Although the commission largely agreed on abolishing capital punishment, disagreements remained over whether or not to introduce a life sentence without parole or mitigation, and whether the death penalty should be enacted during wartime.

Chung Kang-ja, the acting president of the commission, said, “The committee has agreed in abolishing the death penalty, but there is a need for further discussion regarding the details.”

The former President of NHRC, Choi Young-do, resigned from the post after he was revealed to have purchased a patch of farmland with a fake residence registration.

The plenary committee is scheduled to hold another meeting in April to make a final decision on advising the government to abolish the death penalty.

The NHRC’s grounds for supporting the abolishment of capital punishment are: the principle of guaranteeing the rights to life; the principle of proportion; the principle of prohibiting violation of the essential content; the principle of prohibiting cruel and abnormal punishment; and the freedom of conscience.

The commission came to review the issue of the abolishment of the death penalty because the “Top 10 Human Rights Tasks,” a 2003 commission report to the government, includes the issue of improving the death penalty because the United Nations Human Rights Commission advised the commission to put out measures to reduce capital punishment.

Yi-Young Cho lycho@donga.com