South Korea to Consider Constitutionality of Death Penalty

The Constitutional Court of South Korea will hold a public hearing on July 14 to discuss the “constitutionality of the death penalty.”  

The court named a witness, Ko Hak-soo, a professor of law at Seoul National University and an economist, to stand witness and consider the socioeconomic effects of the death penalty.  

According to reports, the focus of the public hearing would be on Article 110-4 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, which states that “Military trials under an extraordinary martial law may not be appealed… except in the case of a death sentence.”  

Last year, reports claimed that under South Korean law, capital punishment is still permissible but has not been in operation since December 1997, when Amnesty International reported 23 people put to death from the death penalty. 

 In 2019, the Capital Punishment Abolition Subcommittee of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Korea (CBCK) Committee for Peace and Justice filed a constitutional petition.  

The court found the death penalty constitutional in 1996 and again affirmed its constitutionality in 2010.

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