EDITING : 2024.4.22 월 18:51
The Gachon Herald
Do You Favor The Death Penalty for Criminals?Gachon Killing Vote: Asking the students of Gachon University for their opinion on private sanction.
Kim Si-On  |  6788zion@gmail.com
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Updated : 2023.12.29  18:58:00
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   South Korea's judicial system has continuously been criticized for being a slap on the wrist. According to the "Quarterly Crime Trend Report" of the Korea Institute of Criminal Justice and Legal Policy, the total amount of crimes that occurred in the first quarter of 2023 increased by 9.5% compared to the same period last year. With a steadily increasing frequency and level of crimes, the lack of suitable punishment intensifies citizens' concerns. Among those who are dissatisfied with the sentence criminals receive, some publicize personal information about criminals without permission and impose private sanctions. One example of this is a case where a Youtuber publicly broadcasted the personal information of the perpetrator of the so-called "Busan turning kick case" last June. As if they try to satirize the light punishments of the Korean judicial system and the occurrences of private sanction, a drama about punishing criminals through a public referendum called "The Killing Vote" is being aired. In the 159th Campus Talk, we asked the students of Gachon University to vote on the criminals in the drama and hear their thoughts on private sanctions.
  The result of "The Gachon Killing Vote" shows that 70% of the respondents favored the death penalty for the child sexual exploitation website operator Bae Ki-Cheol, insurance murderer Eom Eun-Kyung, and military sexual assaulter Captain Oh. This, if followed the rule of the drama "The Killing Vote," as half of the majority agreed, the three criminals above will be put to death. Due to the small sample size, this result cannot represent Gachon University's population. However, if we follow this trend, the actual result won't be that different.

 The private sanction means "the act of an individual or group punishing a criminal without following the governmental authority or judicial process." The student's answer on the necessity of private sanction showed the opposite trend of the previous "The Gachon Killing Vote." 68.8% of people opposed the private sanction, providing the danger and provocation of social division as reasons. On the other hand, those who agreed on private sanction asserted the necessity of private sanction at times of weak governmental authority. Then, let's hear a more specific opinion of students who each favored or opposed private sanction.

[Those Who Favor Private Sanction]
Jeon Chaebin (Economics '23)
  I strongly believe private sanction is needed to redeem the lack of ways to prevent crimes from happening due to weak governmental authority and its law. By taking laws into one's own hands so that victims are protected while perpetrators are punished intensely, we will be able to stop the cycle of crimes. However, when imposing private sanctions, we need to be careful so we don't falsely accuse innocent people.
[Those Who Oppose Private Sanction]
Kim Seung-Eun (Psychology '22)
  If private sanctions are normalized, not only people will question the effectiveness of law enforcement but also the rights of innocent people can be easily invaded. In a society where private sanction is taken for granted, people will try to seek vengeance more provocatively and poignantly. This, as a result, can create a major defect in human morality.

  Then, I asked the students what they think is needed to construct a just society, other than private sanction.
Kim Seung-Eun (Psychology '22)
  Even though there seems to be a need for the level of punishment to change according to the people's law emotion, the more essential aspect is examining crimes in a multi-faceted way, rather than the conventional "you need to be punished as much as you committed." The public is simply enraged based on the elements of the crime. However, the one who judges those crimes cannot help but consider the possibility of rehabilitation and society's responsibility for the crimes. In addition, this is a time for a social discussion about whether there will be enough places to imprison criminals when everyone is treated with harsh sentences.

Kim Yereum (Psychology '23)
  I think the country should make judicial decisions more decisively. If the country's vested interest works for the justice of society rather than their own goods, we can protect our society.

Jang Hyewon (Psychology '23)
  I think about the influence of the country or the governmental authority, and the law should be enlarged. Among many ways, I am in favor of the death penalty mentioned previously in the questionnaire.

  After conducting a killing vote on criminals who didn't receive unreasonable punishment, we asked the students for their thoughts on private sanctions and ways of implementing a just society. From this campus talk, we learned that the students think strengthening governmental authority and uniting people is needed to correspond to the crimes, even though the level of punishment doesn't make up for the intensity of the crime because private sanction is another form of crime that can create a crack in our society. In conclusion, as a constitutional state, the government and people's systematic effort is needed to create a just society.
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