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Changes in Prosecution Expected Due to Rape Case

Posted October. 15, 2009 08:30,   


Prosecutors are under fire for failing to appeal for a harsher sentence against Cho Doo-sun, who received 12 years in prison for brutally raping an eight-year-old schoolgirl in his first trial.

As a result, they said they will set up standards for appeals and decided whether to lodge an appeal against a criminal depending on the gap between the prosecutors’ demand and the court’s sentence.

Much stricter standards are expected to mete out harsher sentences on criminals.

According to the criminal trial and civil litigation department of the Supreme Public Prosecutors’ Office, the critical part of the new standards is that prosecutors will file an appeal in principle in criminal trials.

An appeal could be given up, however, if prosecutors decide that the punishment against the convicted is appropriate.

Prosecutors also plan to consider factors to be reflected to raise or lower sentences when determining the proper punishment for crimes whose penalties are set, such as murder, sexual offenses, robbery and bribery.

They will also consider their own reasonable expectations in sentencing when dealing with crimes that have no established punishment standards. If the new standards are set, the number of prosecutor appeals is likely to greatly increase.

Instead of setting up standardized rules, prosecutors have long followed internal rules of their deliberate council to decide whether to lodge an appeal. Accordingly, such an appeal is lodged only when the announced sentences of general cases are shorter than a third of what prosecutors demanded and if those of major cases are shorter than half of the prosecutors’ request.

They will get approval from the council comprised of high-ranking and general prosecutors in charge of relevant cases before giving up an appeal.

Prosecutors will also change the old practice of demanding heavy penalties due to expectations that the court will reduce the sentence demand by prosecutors.