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Capital punishment is a legal form of punishment in South Korea and people are sentenced to it, recently on April 21, 2009, when Kang Ho-sun was convicted for the murder of ten people. But the capital punishment has been not carried out since 1998, when the late President Kim Dae-jung came into power. Most recently where 23 people put to death on 31 December 1997.[1]

"Kang Ho-sun" was convicted of kidnapping and killing eight women between 2006 and 2008, and of burning to death his wife and mother-in-law in 2005. Kang, 38, was arrested in January over the murder of a female college student, and later confessed to killing and secretly burying seven other women.[2] Other death row inmates includes Yoo Young-chul and members of the Chijon family, a former gang of cannibals.

South Korea is one of only three industrialized democracies that still have the death penalty (the others are the United States, where a majority of the states are retentionist, and Japan, which currently has a de-facto moratorium in place), but it is the only of the three that has an official moratorium.

In February 2010, South Korea's Highest Court upheld the death penalty in a 5-4 decision, but analysts say it is unlikely that executions will resume.[3]

In March 2010, in contrast of prior speculations, South Korea's justice minister Lee Kwi-nam hinted that the executions of deathrow inmates will continue, breaking the virtual 13-year moratorium.[4] The remarks came few days after Kim Kil-tae, who raped and murdered a 13-year old schoolgirl, was convicted.

The official civil execution method in South Korea is hanging, whereas in military they use a firing squad.




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