As South Korea’s Constitutional Courtroom launched an open listening to on the constitutional legality of capital punishment, the leaders of seven non secular teams, together with the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, South Korea’s largest Buddhist order, submitted a joint assertion urging the court docket to abolish the demise penalty.
The petition—the primary joint assertion of its form in Korea—was submitted to the court docket forward of the listening to, which started on 14 July. The signatories embody Venerable Wonhaeng, the top of the Jogye Order; Lee Hong-jung, normal secretary of the Nationwide Council of Church buildings in Korea, which represents Protestant church buildings; and Kim Hee-joong, archbishop of town of Gwangju, and chairman of the Committee for Selling Christian Unity and Inter-religious Dialogue of the Catholic Bishops’ Convention of Korea. Additionally endorsing the assertion have been representatives of the Received Buddhist order, the Sungkyunkwan Confucian motion, the Cheondogyo pantheistic non secular motion, and the Korea Religions Affiliation.
The religious leaders referred to as for an finish to capital punishment, stating that the apply runs opposite to human dignity and the best to life. “All criminals who hurt different individuals deserve punishment, however the nation mustn’t take their life away by way of the merciless punishment,” the joint assertion mentioned. “As an alternative, the nation should look at major causes behind such crimes and search methods to forestall lawbreaking. And it should make efforts to offer administrative help to victims.” (Yonhap Information Company)
The Jogye Order is a faculty of Seon (Zen) Buddhism that traces its roots again some 1,200 years to the Unified Silla (often known as the Later Silla) kingdom (668–935). The Jogye faculty as a definite entity emerged within the late eleventh century when the monk Bojo Jinul, credited as the college’s founder, sought to mix Seon practices with the theological underpinnings of sutra-based Buddhist colleges, together with Korean Pure Land Buddhism. The order now represents the most important section of South Korea’s Buddhist inhabitants, administering about 1,900 energetic temples, greater than 13,000 monastics, and 7 million lay followers.
Whereas capital punishment stays authorized, South Korea has maintained an abolitionist coverage stance for greater than 20 years. A complete of 920 executions have been carried out between 1948 and the newest executions on 30 December 1997, when 23 individuals have been hanged, every of whom had been convicted of murdering no less than two individuals. There are presently 59 individuals serving time on demise row. In June this 12 months, a court docket sentenced a 53-year-old man to demise for killing a girl and murdering an confederate in December 2021.
South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-jung, a distinguished pro-democracy politician who held workplace from 1998–2003, was charged with treason and rebellion in 1980 and sentenced to demise below the regime of army dictator Chun Doo-hwan. The demise sentence was later commuted to a jail sentence following a world outcry. Whereas later serving as president, Kim didn’t authorize a single execution.
In two earlier hearings by the Constitutional Courtroom, in 1996 and 2010, the judges voted in favor of the demise penalty in break up choices of seven–2 and 5–4, respectively. In 2020, Korea’s Ministry of Justice voiced help for a world debate on the abolition of capital punishment, casting its first-ever vote in favor of a decision for a moratorium on the demise penalty throughout the seventy fifth session of the UN Normal Meeting.
The newest Structure Courtroom listening to is available in response to a constitutional petition filed in 2019 by a person convicted of killing his mother and father in 2018. Though prosecutors referred to as for the demise penalty for his conviction, the court docket later commuted his sentence to life in jail. In accordance with native media experiences, six out of 9 votes have to be solid in favor of abolition to ensure that the demise penalty to be dominated unconstitutional.
“Life is an absolute worth which can’t be taken away by way of a authorized judgment,” the non secular leaders mentioned of their assertion to the court docket. “As society has modified previously 12 years, we anticipate a correct conclusion this time.” (UCA Information)
In accordance with census knowledge for 2015, the vast majority of South Korea’s inhabitants—56.1 per cent—holds no non secular affiliation. Christians make up the most important non secular section of the inhabitants at 27.6 per cent, whereas Buddhists account for 15.5 per cent.
Religious leaders urge Constitutional Court to abolish death penalty (Yonhap Information Company)
Court hands down rare death sentence for suspect in double murder case (Yonhap Information Company)
Death penalty revisited (The Korea Herald)
Constitutional Court begins deliberations on petition against death penalty (The Korea Occasions)
Korean religious groups call for abolition of death penalty (UCA Information)
S. Korean court to consider constitutionality of death penalty for first time in 12 years (Hankyoreh)
Religious Leaders Submit Joint Opinion on Scrapping Death Penalty (KBS World)
Constitutional Court Holds Hearing on Capital Punishment (KBS World)
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