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Tougher Punishment Slated for Crimes vs. Children

Posted April. 02, 2008 06:23,   


Murder of a child under age 13 in Korea will now warrant the death penalty or life imprisonment for the killer.

The Justice Ministry made the announcement Tuesday in reporting measures to punish sex offenders and prevent sex crimes to a State Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Han Seung-soo.

The ministry will also revise a law on punishing sex crimes and protecting their victims for submission to the National Assembly in September. The Hye-jin Ye-seul Law is named after two schoolgirls who went missing late last year and were later found murdered.

“Punishment for criminals who sexually abuse children is weak; such offenders commit crimes again after getting light punishment such as probation,” the ministry said.

“We will do our best to have those who kill children after committing sex crimes sentenced to death or life imprisonment, the maximum penalty allowed under law.”

If the revision passes, probation will be banned for those committing sex crimes against children under age 13. In addition, such offenders will also be disqualified for parole.

Law enforcement will also introduce an electronic monitoring system used in countries such as the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Australia. Sex offenders must wear tracking devices for up to five years.

A criminal investigation squad for child sexual abuse cases will probe all incidents from the beginning. Genetic information of ex-cons will be collected for use in investigation or trial. Protective measures such as punishing those who illegally leak personal information will be prepared to minimize disputes over human rights.

A revision to a law on the care and custody for sex criminals will be submitted to the National Assembly in September. After their prison terms expire, sex offenders with mental problems such as pedophilia must receive psychological assessment and treatment before being released.