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Catholic Bishops, Followers Submit Petition against Death Penalty

Written: 2023-03-14 14:25:54Updated: 2023-03-14 14:49:39

Catholic Bishops, Followers Submit Petition against Death Penalty

Photo : YONHAP News

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea submitted a petition to the National Assembly calling for the abolishment of the death penalty.

The petition, submitted on Monday with the signatures of all 25 Korean bishops as well as over 75-thousand Catholics including priests, monks, nuns and lay people, said it was contradictory that the nation bans murder as a crime while maintaining the institutional divestment of life.

The Commission said there is no empirical evidence that the death penalty serves as a deterrence, noting the permanence of the punishment particularly in the case of a wrongful conviction.

The signatories expressed hope that the petition, the fifth iteration submitted by the South Korean Catholic Church since 2006, would help start parliamentary discussions on abolishing the death penalty.

A related bill aimed at replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment is currently pending in the parliamentary committee on legislation and the judiciary.

A court-ordered execution has not been carried out in South Korea since December 30, 1997, leading to the country’s classification as "abolitionist-in-practice." The Constitutional Court is currently reviewing its constitutionality after finding the punishment compliant in 1996 and 2010.

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