SOUTH KOREA PARDONS SIX ON DEATH ROW
December 31, 2007: in South Korea, six inmates on death row had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment in a traditional New Year amnesty, the justice ministry said. The country has imposed a moratorium on executions since the last hangings on December 30, 1997. The decree issued by President Roh Moo-hyun also helped about 70 convicted former government officials, politicians and businesspeople.
According to government records, 58 inmates are currently awaiting execution. "The government hopes this amnesty will help create an atmosphere of integration, reconciliation and tolerance in the nation and society," the ministry said in a statement. (Sources: Yonhap, 31/12/2007)