SOUTH KOREA. SOLDIER GETS DEATH PENALTY
May 7, 2008: a military court of appeal upheld for a second time the death sentence on a soldier who killed eight of his colleagues and senior officers at a guard post in Yeoncheon, South Korea.
In 2005, Private Kim Dong-min killed eight and injured four other colleagues in a grenade and shooting rampage at the post, located in the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone and only 1.5kms away from a North Korean guard post.
A lower military court imposed the death penalty on Kim in November 2005, and his lawyer subsequently filed an appeal to the higher court. Following the initial appeal ruling, he filed a petition with the Constitutional Court, claiming the death sentence was unconstitutional.
The Constitutional Court ruled that capital punishment was unconstitutional and sent the case back to the Court of Military Appeals, which reconfirmed the earlier death sentence.
"To separate the accused from society permanently, capital punishment is inevitable," it said in its ruling. (Sources: Korea Times, 07/05/2008)