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Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Self-confessed cannibal - Mutilation
Number of victims: 20
Date of murders: 2003 -2004
Date of arrest: July 17, 2004
Date of birth: 1970
Victims profile: Men and women (mostly prostitutes and wealthy old men)
Method of murder: Beating with a hammer
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Status: Sentenced to death December 13, 2004
photo gallery 1 photo gallery 2

Yoo Young-Chul (Korean: 유영철, born 1970) is a self-confessed South Korean serial killer and cannibal.

Although he admitted to murdering 21 people, mostly prostitutes and rich old men, the Seoul Central District Court convicted him of 20 murders (one case was dismissed on a technicality).

Yoo burned 3 and mutilated at least 11 of his victims, admitting he ate the livers of some of them. He committed his crimes between September 2003 and July 2004, when he was arrested. He was sentenced to death on 13 December 2004.

His case, which appalled South Koreans, has fuelled the debate on capital punishment in South Korea. Although the death penalty is still permissible under law, it has not been carried out for 6 years. It appeared capital punishment might be abolished prior to Yoo's arrest, but support for the death penalty has grown since his arrest.

The Seoul Central District Court said: "Murders of as many as 20 people are unprecedented in the nation and a very serious crime. The death penalty is inevitable for Yoo in light of the enormous pains inflicted on the families concerned and the entire society."

Also yoo Young is considered a saint in a religion called VJ. this religion talks about how he and the other 9 wise men are going to conquer the world.


Yoo Young-Cheol (Hangul: 유영철; born in 1970) is a South Korean serial killer and self-confessed cannibal. Although he admitted to murdering 21 people, mostly prostitutes and wealthy old men, the Seoul Central District Court convicted him of 20 murders (one case was dismissed on a technicality).

Yoo burned three and mutilated at least 11 of his victims, admitting he ate the livers of some of them. He committed his crimes between September 2003 and July 2004, when he was arrested. Yoo explained his motives in front of a TV camera saying "Women shouldn't be sluts, and the rich should know what they've done." He was sentenced to death on June 19, 2005 by the Supreme Court.

His case, which appalled South Koreans, has fueled the debate on capital punishment in South Korea. Although the death penalty is still permissible under law, it has not been carried out since 1997. It appeared capital punishment might be abolished prior to Yoo's arrest, but support for the death penalty has grown since his arrest.

The Seoul Central District Court said: "Murders of as many as 20 people are unprecedented in the nation and a very serious crime. The death penalty is inevitable for Yoo in light of the enormous pains inflicted on the families concerned and the entire society."

List of events and his early crimes

  • 1988: Theft
  • 1991: Theft (sentenced 10 months in jail)
  • June 23, 1993: Married his girlfriend
  • 1993: Theft (sentenced 8 months in jail)
  • October 26, 1994: His son was born
  • 1995: Selling illegal pornography (sentenced 3 million KRW)
  • 1998: Theft, forgery, identity theft (sentenced 2 years in jail)
  • 2000: Child sexual abuse (rape) (sentenced 3 years 6 months in jail)
  • October 27, 2000: Divorced by his wife
  • September 11, 2003: Released from jail

Killing spree

  • 1st, September 24, 2003 (victims age 72, 67), Gangnam-gu, Seoul: Stabbed the first victim's neck and hit the victim's head with his hammer (4kg), and killed the second victim (the first victim's wife) with his hammer.

  • 2nd, October 9, 2003 (victims age 85, 60, 35), Jongro-gu, Seoul: Killed three people with the hammer

  • 3rd, October 16, 2003 (victim age 60), Gangnam-gu, Seoul: Hit the victim's head with the hammer. Later the victim was found by her son at 13:30 but died at 14:00.

  • 4th, November 18, 2003 (victims age 53, 87, baby), Jongro-gu, Seoul: Killed the two people with the hammer, got hurt when he tried open a safe, and burned down the house to destroy evidence.

  • On December 11, 2003, Yoo met a new girlfriend (escort girl) but later she found out Yoo's list of crimes and told Yoo not to see him again. He then decided to kill escort girls as a revenge.

  • 5th, March 16, 2004 (victim age 23), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Killed an escort girl by choking, mutilated the body, trashed them on a trail near Sogang University.

  • 6th, April or May, 2004 (victim unknown), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Lured an escort girl to his apartment, made the victim faint with the hammer, decapitating the victim in the bathroom, smashed the head, mutilated the body, trashed them on a construction site near Bongwon Temple in Seodaemun-gu.

  • 7th, May, 2004 (victim age 25), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • 8th, June 1, 2004 (victim age 35), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • 9th, early June, 2004 (victim unknown), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • 10th, June 9, 2004 (victim age 26), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • 11th, June 18, 2004 (victim age 27), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • 12th, June 25, 2004 (victim age 28), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • 13th, July 2, 2004 (victim age 26), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • 14th, July 9, 2004 (victim age 24 from Aesongi escort), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • 15th, July 13, 2004 (victim age 27 from Aesongi escort), Mapo-gu, Seoul: Same procedure as the 6th crime.

  • At 5am, July 15, 2004, Yoo was captured by police near Grand-mart in Mapo-gu, Seoul.

In film

The Chaser (film) is based on the Yoo's story.


Suspected Serial Killer Nabbed

33-Year-Old Ex-Convict Allegedly Murdered 20 Women, Rich Elderly

July 18, 2004

By Na Jeong-ju/Staff Reporter

Police on Sunday said they have captured a serial killer suspected of murdering at least 20 people in Seoul and other areas from September last year.

The suspect, identified as Yoo Young-chul, admitted he killed 11 women and buried them in the mountains near Yonsei University in Seoul, police said.

Police recovered the remains of their bodies, which had been cut into pieces before being buried.

Yoo, 33, also confessed to eight other killings, according to the police. He told them that he committed the premeditated crimes out of blind hatred and hostility toward women and rich people.

Police are expanding the investigation after securing testimony from Yoo that he had committed more murders in Pusan and Inchon.

Yoo, an epilepsy patient, was initially arrested Thursday on charges of beating a woman he had paid for sex, but fled during questioning. Police didn't know whether he committed murders when they first detained him. He was recaptured on Friday at the Yongdungpo subway station and confessed to the murders, police said. Yoo was carrying a fake police identification card and handcuffs for his crimes.

The killing spree began on Sept. 24 last year when he murdered a wealthy couple in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul. On Oct. 9, he also killed three members of a family in Chongno-gu, Seoul.

The following month, after killing a 71-year-old man in Kangnam-gu, he moved to Hyehwa-dong, Seoul, and murdered an 87-year-old luxury home owner and a female housekeeper. Police said he also set the house on fire to destroy evidence.

Most of the crimes were committed around noon and in the afternoon when young people were at work and only the elderly were at home. Yoo was found to have used hammers and knives for the homicides.

His targets were mostly wealthy people and women. Yoo, who divorced in 2002 while he was in prison, harbored hatred toward the wealthy and women, police said.

Criminal experts said it seemed that Yoo, an ex-convict, intended to kill innocent people to vent his anger over being a social outcast. He also thought he would die soon because his father died of epilepsy and his elder brother died at age 32 from the same illness. He also had a medical history of mental disorders.

Police said Yoo told them he had once thought of killing his former wife but dropped the idea in consideration of his 11-year-old son, opting instead for women working in the sex trade as his targets. They also said he wanted to kill people in an affluent neighborhood in Seoul, attributing his miserable condition and his bad luck to wealthy people and women.

He was first jailed as a high school student at age 18. Since then, he has served a combined 11 years in prison on charges of fraud, violence and other crimes.

Police said they traced him based on footprints left at a crime scene and records on closed circuit TV. As they got close to apprehending him, he went underground and targeted prostitutes to continue the killings.


Suspected serial killer arrested

Man, 33, confesses to 10-month murder spree, mainly in Seoul

July 19, 2004

A man arrested for beating a masseuse confessed yesterday to a 10-month killing spree in which he murdered at least 20 people, including 11 women working in red-light districts and wealthy elderly people, police said.

Seoul was the scene of 19 murders but police quoted Yoo Young-chul, 33, as saying he had also killed in the port city of Busan and in Incheon, 25 kilometers west of the capital, although no details were available on the timing or number of attacks in those two places.

It is believed to be the worst single case of serial murders in Korea, an officer at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said on condition of anonymity.

Yoo Young-chul, who confessed to a series of killings, is taken to one of the crime scenes in Seoul yesterday. [The Korea Herald]

Yoo was arrested Thursday on a charge of beating a female massage attendant at an inn in Yeoksam-dong in southern Seoul, but escaped and was on the run for 12 hours before being recaptured Friday by a policeman on patrol at Yeongdeungpo Station, southwestern Seoul.

Yoo, who has previously been in prison 14 times for theft and violent behavior, made his surprise confession of the serial murders as he was being questioned by police about his attack on the masseuse in Yeoksam.

The bodies of 11 women, cut in pieces and stuffed in plastic bags, were unearthed in a gorge near Bongwon Temple in western Seoul near Yonsei University. Police were also making on-site inquiries at all houses and buildings where Yoo said he had killed.

His primary targets were wealthy people living in fashionable houses and residential buildings in southern Seoul. His modus operandi was to break in during daylight hours when all family members were likely to be at work and only old people remained in the dwellings.

He did not touch money and other valuable articles, underscoring his motive was hatred of well-to-do people and anger at a social system in which the rich get richer at the expense of the poor, police said.

His other targets were young women, a rage stemming from anger over a divorce and another woman's rejection of a marriage proposal. Yoo said he was divorced by his wife while he was in prison in 2002 serving a sentence for theft. After he was released, he proposed to a woman working in the night club but was turned down because he was an ex-convict.

Yoo said he could not kill his ex-wife because of his 11-year-old son but he attacked other young women he came across over the past few months, murdering 11, mainly in red-light areas of Seoul and its suburbs.

Recounting Yoo's trail of murders in Seoul, police said:

The first murders were on Sept. 24 when he broke into a residential building in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul, and beat a 73-year old emeritus professor, identified only by his family name Lee, and his 68-year old wife to death with a blunt weapon.

On Oct. 9, he broke into a house in Seodaemun-gu, western Seoul, and killed three family members, including an 85-year old grandmother.

One month later, he entered a southern Seoul house belonging to a person described as a well-to-do financial figure identified only by his family name Choe and killed his 69-year old wife.

He raided another fashionable house in the same area and killed the 87-year old house owner, identified as Kim, and his 53-year housemaid, Bae. He set fire to the apartment to wipe out all traces of evidence that could point to him.

In March, he called a 25-year-old masseuse to an inn in Sinchon, western Seoul, and killed her, cutting up the body and burying the pieces near the university campus.

Since April, he killed 10 other women in different areas of Seoul, cut their bodies up, put the remains in plastic bags and buried them.

Born to poor parents and brought up by his mother after his father died when he was 14, Yoo quit regular school and was confined in a juvenile reformatory school when he was 18.

He served a total 11 years in prison in the 14 times he was sentenced to jail.

Police said that after he was released from prison last year, he suffered from schizophrenia and nursed a grudge against society for isolating him.


Were Movies Yoo Young-chul's Murder Textbooks?

July 19, 2004

It's hard to believe that this clean one-room apartment could have been the scene of gruesome murders. When we got news of notorious serial killer 34-year-old Yoo Young-chul's arrest, we visited Yoo's home, a second story one-room apartment in Nogosan-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.

Well ordered jackets and dress shirts, a potted plant and fish bowl... it didn't look like the room of a serial killer.

Yoo kept three murder movie DVDs in the drawer of his computer desk that seem to speak of his own crimes -- the Korean film "Public Enemy" and U.S. films "Very Bad Things" and "Normal Life." It would seem that the Yoo killings have much in common, perhaps coincidentally, with "Public Enemy," which depicted the life of a serial killer. In the film, there is a depraved scene of the main character, a killer, going into his own house at night and murdering his elderly parents, and he targets older, wealthy people.

What's more, in the dark comedy "Very Bad Things," there is a part in which someone dismembers a corpse with a chainsaw. On the movie poster as well, there is a picture of star actor Christian Slater holding a chainsaw, reminding one of Yoo's crimes. He also imitated another movie scene when he pretended to walk with a limp at the time he was arrested in order to lull the police into inattention. In the film "Usual Suspects," viewers are left speechless when it's revealed that among several suspects, the real criminal is Kevin Spacey's character, who walked with a limp. In Yoo's lair, one gets the strong impression, from both the DVDs and DVD magazines, that movies were his "criminal textbook."

With police officers, the serial-killer suspect Yoo Young-chul (masked) conducts an on-the-spot inspection of a murder scene Monday on Wolmi Island in Incheon where he killed a vendor and abandoned the body.

As soon as you enter his room, your eyes are drawn to a black scrapbook lying on his bed. It was full of newspaper articles and personal notes on a variety of things like computers, furniture, marksmanship, stereos and luxury cars. In one section of notes entitled "albums," one is struck by how Yoo neatly ordered famous Western pop singers, their representative songs and their musical characteristics. Pictures of the flagship luxury car of a certain local automaker revealed his interest in the wealthy. Despite being a cruel, murderous monster, he seemed to have much interest in his family. The most eye-catching articles in his scrapbook were those on family package trips to Jeju Island. Having exactly written out how much it would cost to take such a trip, it appeared Yoo dreamed of a happy family life with his 11-year-old son. A children's drawing book, presumed to be his son's, was discovered in the bookshelf at the head of his bed.

Yoo was a sharp-minded criminal. Looking at his sketchbook, one could see that his skill was no less than that of professional cartoonists. His still-life pictures, female nudes, and entertainer portraits were just like the real thing. The pictures of female actresses and entertainers found in his scrapbook also revealed his lust for women.


S Korean murder suspect may have killed 23

July 19, 2004

Seoul - A 34-year-old South Korean man suspected of being the country's worst serial killer may have murdered at least 23 people, but the suspect was unsure himself of the number because there were "too many", police said.

The man was suspected of at least 19 murders committed in less than a year, many of the bodies possibly buried in shallow graves near a temple, Seoul police chief Huh Joon-young told reporters on Sunday.

The victims were mainly women, but also included elderly people from wealthy districts of the capital.

The suspect, Yoo Young-chul, was arrested late last week and had confessed to the crime spree, apparently motivated by a hatred for women and the rich, the police chief said.

Widening their investigation on Monday, police drove Yoo to the western port city of Inchon in connection with their search for the murderer of a man in April.

There was a possibility that Yoo was also involved in the murders of three young women in another part of Seoul, police said. Two women were injured but survived.

"He says he did everything when asked about the murder incidents," a Seoul police officer said by telephone.

"He said he'll take responsibility," the officer said.

Yoo appeared confused and unsure of the exact number of deaths, telling police there were "too many", he said.

South Korea has a low rate of violent crime, and multiple killings in the past have been mostly committed by organised criminals against wealthy victims.

"It is shocking that the killings were committed against people who had no reason to hold personal animosity against him," the mainstream JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial.

Society was partly to blame for creating such criminals by being increasingly indifferent to the less fortunate and breeding lower regard for human lives, it said.

Yoo, released from prison in September 2003 after serving time for robbery and rape, is suspected of killing an elderly college professor and his wife in an affluent Seoul district in the same month, police have said.

The couple, along with other elderly victims, were killed with a hammer in their homes, police said. In one instance the victim's home was set on fire.

After his girlfriend turned down a marriage proposal early this year, the suspect was believed to have then shifted focus to target women working as masseuses, who frequently offer sex services in South Korea, police said.

He is suspected of carrying out attacks on women between March and July, police said.

Investigators unearthed the bodies of 11 women buried in shallow graves on Sunday near a temple in northern Seoul, close to several major universities and the studio flat Yoo rented.

YTN Television showed footage on Sunday of investigators unearthing several plastic bags apparently containing body parts. The suspect stood by watching.


Serial killer: 7 more murders


Seoul - A suspected serial killer arrested in South Korea has confessed to seven more murders in addition to the 19 he had confessed on arrest over the weekend, police in Seoul said on Monday.

The 33-year-old man, who was named as Yoo Young Chul, was said to have embarked on his murder spree out of a "hatred for women and for well-off citizens", a police spokesperson said.

The suspect had now confessed to seven more murders in Incheon to the west, and Busan to the south, as well as Seoul, scene of the 19 to which he first confessed. The shocking series of murders, many of elderly women, had sparked panic in the South Korean capital.

Yoo showed police sites of murders in Incheon on Monday, as he had over the weekend at a secret mountain location near Seoul, pictures of which were broadcast on South Korean television, where the bodies of 11 of his victims were unearthed.

Korean media reports said at least some of the bodies had been partially dismembered, and that most of the victims had worked either as masseuses or as bar entertainers, and were suspected to have been also involved in prostitution.

Police sources indicated that Yoo, who was first arrested on Thursday in the course of an investigation into a missing masseuse, had probably taken the women to his home and killed them with a hammer following sexual intercourse. He was said to have become "mentally instable" following a break-up with his wife. - Sapa-dpa


S. Korean police kick murder victim's mum

July 27, 2004

SEOUL - The police have come under fire for violence against the mother of a victim of an alleged serial killer, reports here said yesterday.

After she broke through a police cordon, the woman was kicked in the chest, which sent her down some steps.

Several policemen were escorting the 33-year-old suspect to the Public Prosecutor's Office on Monday, when the angry woman broke through a police cordon to confront her daughter's alleged killer.

'I am the mother of the Imun-dong victim. My daughter would not be dead if you guys had captured that man earlier,' shouted the woman whose daughter, 25, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in Imun-dong, a residential district in Seoul.

As the officers tried to hold her back, one of them kicked her in the chest, which sent her rolling down the steps.

The 55-year-old was not badly hurt but the incident was captured on camera and broadcast live on television, sparking an outcry in South Korea.

An Internet user wrote: 'I feel deeply sorry for the mother because the police failed to console her during her misfortune.

The suspect, Yoo, is an alleged serial killer. -- REUTERS


'On top of that, they kicked her.'

A police spokesman was quoted by the Donga newspaper as saying: 'The umbrella that the family member was holding was mistaken for a weapon. We only tried to prevent any unfortunate event from happening and did not mean to hit the person.'

Another officer told the Chosun Ilbo newspaper that the policeman was merely trying to use his feet to 'restrain' her and had no intention of causing hurt.

In wrapping up its 10-day investigations, Seoul's Metropolitan Police Agency said the suspect, Yoo Yeong Cheol, was involved in the killings of 21 people, mostly women and rich elderly people.

Since news of his arrest broke two weeks ago, the police have been slammed for their poor handling of the case, reported Korea Times.

Yoo had been convicted of rape before the killings.

The police detained him briefly last year on theft charges but released him without checking his criminal records.

According to the National Police Agency, disciplinary action would be taken against officers found negligent in following up murder cases or to have failed to prevent additional murders.


Seoul serial killer says he ate victims

August 15, 2004

Prosecutors in Seoul have said suspected serial killer Yoo Young-chul told them he ate the flesh of his victims, the Korea Times reported Saturday.

Yoo told investigators that he ate human flesh on four occasions, and plotted to commit more murders, Lee Dong-ho, a prosecutor in the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office told reporters. We are making efforts to confirm his testimony. Yoo has shown little sense of guilt during questioning. He said he ate some human organs to 'refresh himself.'

The 33-year-old Yoo has confessed to 26 people since September. Police said they have evidence linking him to 21 victims, including women, sex workers and rich elderly individuals.

Yoo faces charges of 21 counts of murder and 11 additional crimes, including burglary, impersonating a police officer and hiding corpses.


'I ate my victims'


Seoul - A self-confessed South Korean serial killer has said he ate parts of his victims to "have his mind clear" and would have killed more than 100 people if he had not been caught, prosecution authorities said on Friday.

Yoo Young-Chul, 33, whose confession that he had killed at least 21 people was backed by the discovery of dismembered bodies, was on Friday indicted on charges of multiple murder, the Seoul district prosecution office said.

Yoo, who claims to suffer epilepsy, was captured last month following a tip-off from an agent for masseuses after three masseuses who went out to serve a man one after another over a period of a month never came back. They were all allegedly killed by Yoo.

"Yoo told investigators that he ate part of the internal organs of four of his victims in order to have his mind clear," Yonhap news agency quoted an investigator as saying.

"He said he would have killed more than 100 people had he not been arrested," he said.

"As is often the case with a serial killer, he shows little repentance on he has done," he said.

Yoo, an ex-convict, has told investigators he killed at least 21 people in 17 murder cases over a period of 10 months from September until his arrest last month.

He began his killing spree by allegedly hammering an elderly couple to death in an upscale district in Seoul. He later turned on on-call masseuses and freelance prostitutes.

Most of his victims were wealthy or masseuse and karaoke bar hostesses.

Investigators said he developed a hatred for such women after his wife, who worked as a masseuse, divorced him while he was in prison in 2002 serving a sentence for theft.

He became even more upset when a woman working in a red-light district turned down his marriage proposal because he was an ex-convict. Yoo stopped short of killing his own wife because of their 11-year-old son, police said.

Yoo, who came from a poor background, admitted under questioning that he killed 21 people and led police to the graves on a hillside where he buried the dismembered bodies of his victims. - AFP



Death Penalty Sought for Serial Murder Suspect

By Kim Rahn - The Korea Times

Nov 29, 2004

The state prosecution on Monday sought the death penalty for suspected serial killer Yoo Young-chul, 33, who allegedly killed 21 innocent people from late last year.

"Yoo, who killed 21 unacquainted people without a specific motive, is a typical serial killer who gave up living in society with others,'' prosecutors said during a court hearing.

The prosecutors added Yoo had not shown remorse and said at court that he would kill more than 100 people.

The prosecution also said Yoo's life is not worth being protected, as he told the victims' parents in attendance at the trial, that the victims deserved their death. ``We seek capital punishment so that this never happens again,'' the prosecution said.

However, it added that society needs to reflect on itself and consider how Yoo, who lived in poverty with his mother and spent seven years in jail, developed such hatred and hostility toward society.

Yoo said at court that he appreciates the death penalty, saying "My actions cannot be justified. If we live in a society where people like me can live a good life, there will not be another Yoo Young-chul.'' He added he feels sorry for the bereaved families of the victims.

Yoo was arrested in July on charges of killing 21 citizens and burying 11 dead bodies after cutting them into pieces from September last year to July this year.

He killed wealthy elderly couples in Sinsa-dong, Kugi-dong, Samsong-dong and Hyehwa-dong in Seoul. Yoo also murdered female sex workers and a street vendor from Hwanghak-dong, Seoul.

Yoo said he murdered them out of blind hatred toward women and the wealthy. He claimed he had murdered as many as 26, but investigators failed to secure evidence on the additional five victims.


Korean SK supports death penalty

March 22, 2006

Serial killer Yoo Young-chul, who was sentenced to death for murdering 20 people, said he objects to a recent move to abolish capital punishment, according to a local television station.

Yoo's claim has come amid controversy about the death penalty, which reemerged following the Justice Ministry's consideration to replace capital punishment with a non-commutable life sentence.

The broadcaster SBS said Wednesday that it sent a questionnaire to Yoo to ask his opinion about the death penalty, and that Yoo supported maintaining it.

Yoo was arrested in July 2004 on charges of killing 20 innocent women and senior citizens in Seoul and dismembering and burying 11 corpses since September 2003.

The 35-year-old killer, who had lived in poverty and suffered a failed marriage, said he killed them out of blind hatred toward women and the wealthy.

Last June, the Supreme Court handed down the death penalty to Yoo.

In the reply to SBS Yoo said he was opposed to the move to abolish capital punishment and adopt life imprisonment instead.

"It is the cruelest punishment to isolate hideous criminals, who cannot be reformed, and make them die old. It is also a waste of state funds,'' he said, according to the broadcaster.

He added it would be the right thing to let those who desperately want to give up their lives die.

"I would be unfair to the world for people like me continue living. I object to abolishing the death penalty,'' Yoo said.

Last month, the Justice Ministry announced its long-term reform roadmap to improve human rights conditions within the nation's penal system and strengthen an effective criminal justice system.

It plans to review whether capital punishment is effective in preventing crime and how society will be affected if the penalty is abolished.

Currently, South Korea has 63 convicts on death row, but has not conducted an execution since 1998.

Civic and human rights groups have called for elimination of death penalty. The National Human Rights Commission recommended scrapping capital punishment last April, and Amnesty International launched a campaign this year to encourage South Korea to abolish the penalty.

But quite a number of people still support the sentence, claiming the lives and property of society are more important than the rights of individual criminals. The Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court have supported the penalty in the past.



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