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SOUTH KOREA COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY

February 25, 2010: South Korea’s highest court upheld the death penalty, 13 years after the last execution and a national debate on whether to scrap capital punishment led to a moratorium.
The Justice Department has put a stay on death row cases since 23 were executed at the end of 1997, in deference to a parliamentary debate on the statutory repeal of capital punishment that began formally earlier that year.
A fisherman convicted of killing four tourists at sea in 2007 brought the appeal to the Constitutional Court, saying capital punishment infringed on the constitutional guarantee of human dignity.
The court in a five-to-four decision said the constitution allowed for the death penalty and it would be an over-interpretation to say its provision on the right to life superseded capital punishment. The court needed a six-judge majority to strike down the death penalty.
The court added however that it recognized the death penalty could be subject to errors and abuse in enforcement and that parliament, which had the power to repeal the punishment, was the proper forum for any debate or change.
There have been steady calls for the abolishment of capital punishment led in part by late former President Kim Dae-jung, who was sentenced to death for treason under a military ruler but had his sentence commuted. He was in office from 1998 to 2003. (Sources: Reuters, 25/02/2010)

GENEVA: WORLD CONGRESS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY- PRESIDED OVER BY HANDS OFF CAIN
JORDAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDERING FRIEND
IRAN: JUNDULLAH' LEADERS' BROTHER EXECUTED
SUDAN RELEASES 50 DARFUR REBELS
ITALY TO SEEK NEW UN RESOLUTION TO HALT DEATH PENALTY
GENEVA: CONGRESS OPENS WITH CALL TO END DEATH PENALTY
TEXAS (USA): CHARLES DEAN HOOD'S DEATH SENTENCED OVERTURNED
YEMEN: DEATH SENTENCE AGAINST NUSAIBA KILLING UPHELD
PALESTINE: GAZA COURT ISSUES DEATH SENTENCE
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN BEHEADED FOR MURDER
IRAN: DISSIDENTS - 'GOVERNMENT KILLS TO INSTILL FEAR'
BELARUS ON ITS OWN WAY TOWARDS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BAN
IRAN: THREE PEOPLE HANGED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
LEBANESE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR SPYING FOR ISRAEL
SAUDI ARABIA: MAN EXECUTED FOR MURDER
IRAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TIES TO MONARCHIST GROUP
USA: NORTH CAROLINA MAN EXONERATED AFTER 17 YEARS
IRAN REJECTS U.N. CALL TO FREE POLITICAL PRISONERS
FLORIDA (USA): 45-YEAR-OLD INMATE EXECUTED FOR 1984 SLAYING
UKRAINE: PARLIAMENT REFUSES TO RESTORE DEATH PENALTY
IRAQ: EUROPEAN ALLIES CALL FOR HALT TO DEATH PENALTY
ITALY TO UN ON IRAN EXECUTING MINORS
BANGLADESH: 411 PEOPLE EXECUTED SINCE 1971
ARIZONA: OLDEST US DEATH ROW INMATE DIES
KYRGYZSTAN: BISHKEK JOINS INTERNATIONAL PROTOCOL ON DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: FIVE FACE FIRING SQUAD IN RAK FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
THAILAND: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR POSSESSING HEROIN
INDIA: SOCIO-ECONOMIC SITUATION FACTOR FOR COMMUTING DEATH PENALTY
CHINA ISSUES GUIDELINES TO LIMIT DEATH PENALTY USE
IRAN: MAN CONDEMNED TO DEATH OVER ANTI-GOVERNMENT RIOTS

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