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[Pro and Con about Capital Punishment]View Points on Death Penalty
제 113 호    발행일 : 2009.12.15 
Since 1997, there is no capital punishment in Korea. Because of that, Korea is classified as having abolished capital punishment by the International Human Rights Commission. However, there are many differences in capital punishment among nations. When an offender commits a felony crime, most nations want to keep capital punishment. In February, The Korea Society Opinion Institute did a survey about capital punishment. They surveyed one thousand adults. As a result, 69.2 percent people agree with capital punishment. There was only 27.4 percent choosing a sentence of life imprisonment. When we surveyed in 2006, 46.1 percent agreed, but after the accident which happened in An-yang in 2007, the rate increased to 57 percent. After the Kang Ho-seun murder case, this increased 10 percent rapidly.
People who agree with capital punishment do not think killing is always the best way. They think we must execute a criminal who is murderer or a second offender. They want to know criminals like Yoo Young-chul can be educated.
The people who agree with capital punishment talk about the problem of the economy. In Korea the death penalty and imprisonment for life are similar punishments. However, If we didn’t kill criminals, It costs 65 million won a year for one criminal. This money can be used   for national unkeep expenses, it is not for criminals. This money comes from the nation’s tax. It means criminals are using victim’s money. Punishing an old offender is not bad. It can arouse the attention of society, then we can reduce crime and accomplish a safe society.
Most offenders are confined in prison for education. However, It is not easy to change offender’s characteristics. Actually, there are some statistics about crimes. According to those statistics, in 2002 there were 78 percent second offenders. We can analogize that education in the prison has no effect on preventing second offenses.
The people who disagree with capital punishment assert the importance of life. They think capital punishment is just killing. Moreover, it is depriving humans of the right to life. In the constitution, there are rights of humans. It is a contradiction that criminal laws ignore the constitution.
The danger of misjudgement is the reason why some disagree about capital punishment. These days, the danger of misjudgement is dwindling because scientific investigation is developing. However, we can’t go by the danger of misjudgement. If somebody was given a verdict of “not guilty” because it was misjudgement. If the criminal was in the prison, that person could be liberated and live squarely. However, for the offender who died because of capital punishment, the situation can’t be tolerated.
Pro and con opinions basically have human rights. The standpoint of pro comes from victim’s human rights being more important than criminals’. In the standpoint of con, they think capital punishment is an infringement on the human rights. We can’t say which opinion is right.
There is a saying, “Condemn the offense and not its perpetrator.” What do you think about this saying? If somebody asks you about capital punishment, will you agree with the penalty of death or not?
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