How Can We Assert JUSTICE?
How Can We Assert JUSTICE?
  • Reporter Lee Mi-yeon
  • 승인 2019.05.17 11:17
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▲Poster of Wish, movie on Cho
▲Poster of Wish, movie on Cho

The face of the convicted child rapist Cho Doo-soon was revealed on a TV program amid growing concerns over his upcoming release. Public broadcasting system MBC released a photo of him, who is due to be released on Dec. 13 next year. Under the law, the faces of people who commit heinous crimes must be made public to uphold the publics’ right to know. However, the law was not in place at the time of Cho’s crime and therefore does not apply to him. As the end of Cho’s 12-year prison term approaches, there have been growing calls to keep him incarcerated. A petition was posted on the presidential office’s homepage in September last year, asking to deter Cho’s release. It was supported more than 600,000 signatures. In reducing Cho’s sentence to 12 years in prison from the maximum 15 years, the court reasoned “mental and physical weakness under the influence of alcohol.”
There have been many criminal cases where the court rejected to rule a reduced sentence because of a mentally weak claim. However, the Cho Doo-soon case, Gangnam station murder, and the Gangseo district PC room murder raises a question, “Does one’s criminal responsibility for murder decrease if they have a psychological disorder?” The criminal responsibility rule, a term in criminal law where a perpetrator is only found responsible if he is capable of taking responsibility, has been a conflict with this earnest suspicion. On the other hand, many experts have raised concerns about the cancellation of criminal responsibility. The public insists that the government should consider revising the criminal responsibility rule due to public sentiment.
“Then try acting as if you were crazy.” In the scene, the protagonist from a Korean drama “Defendant” suggests when a character, accused of murder, pretends to hallucinate in front of a crowd to reduce a sentence. The scene, which was written in a dramatic fashion, is not an event confined to the fictional world. Where could people escape to when they are overwhelmed with the fear that they could be attacked anywhere by anyone?

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