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Korea: Serial Killer and His Human Rights

A man who had an ordinary life and a good reputation in his town found to have killed 7 women over 2 years. He is a father who has two teenage sons. His targets were random. From women who worked at karaoke clubs, to middle-aged women who went back home after work, and to college girls at bus stops — all were his victims. While his cruel murders have been disclosed by investigation, whether his face should be protected or opened to the public became a big issue among netizens: the right of citizens to know vs. human rights and protection for the accused. Since 2004, criminals’ faces had been protected from the public for their human rights and for their families’ human rights. However, this big scandal and the new government has brought the question of whether it should be maintained. While the arguments have been continued on the Internet, conservative media, Chosun and Joongang Newspapers exposed his pictures.


The Criminal

Many people are concerned about the criminals’ families safety and chances that criminals can have second lives.

[…]살인자의 얼굴을 공개함으로인해서 살인자는 물론이거니와 그 가족들이 입는 정신적인피해, 물질적인 피해또한 생각하지 않을 수 없습니다. 살인자는 그렇다 치더라도 왜 그 가족들까지 고통을 당해야 합니까? 그리고, 글쓴분은 살인자의 얼굴을 공개해야한다는 논리중에 < < 재범>>을 꼽으셧습니다.
아무리 살인죄를 범했다고해도 교화돼서 새로운 삶을 사는 인생들도 많습니다. 왜 그런 기회까지 우리가 박탈해야합니까? […]

 […]If the murderer’s face is open to the public, family including himself will be damaged mentally and their real lives will be damaged too. Disregarding the murderer, why do the family members have to go through the pain? Others also mentioned < second crime> as one of the reasons why we have to publicize the criminal’s face. But there are people who have new lives after the first crime. Why do we have to take such a chance away from them? […]

A netizen has another interesting concern.

최근에 많은 저 사람에 대한 많은 기사를 봤는데 많은 분들이 불만을 가지는 부분이
사형제도, 신상공개, 그리고 부실수사.. 이거더라구요. 그중에서 신상공개에 대한거 개인적으로는 반대라서 이렇게 적어봅니다.. 그렇다고 저 사람을 옹호를 하는건 절대 아닙니다. 저사람은 죽어도 할말없는 죄를 저질렀으니까요..

[…] 제가 걱정하는 부분은 얼굴 공개후에 오게될 영향입니다. 물론 공개를 하게되면 저 사람이 저지른 행동에 대한 많은 목격자들이라든가 많은 증거들을 찾게될지도 모르죠.. 아니 그럴거예요. 하지만 앞에서 말한 것처럼 혹시나 비슷한 외모를 가진 사람들이 있다면 그 사람들에게 엄청난 문제가 생기지 않을까요? 작게는 학교 같은 곳에서 놀림 받는것부터 시작해서 심하게는 그 사람 인생 자체에 문제가 생길지도 모르죠.. 단지 살인자와 비슷한 외모를 가졌다는 이유로 나쁜 이미지가 박힐 수도 있구요..[…]

 I read many articles about him. Many people complain of execution, opening the identity to the public, and unsatisfactory investigation…I am opposed to opening the identity to the public. That doesn’t mean I protect him. He committed hideous crimes as we all know.

[…]What I am concerned is results after showing his face to the public. Of course, it will be much easier to find more witnesses about his history. However, as I said before, people who have similar faces to him will have many problems. Those can be mocked at a place where they belong to, such as schools. Or it can cause their lives badly. Due to one reason that they looked similar to the murderer. they could give bad impressions on others…[…]

Not a few netizens agree that citizens have rights to know for their own safety.

요즘 인터넷에보면 연쇄살인범 얼굴 공개냐 마냐 그런걸로 싸우는데 내생각엔, 당연히 공개 해야한다. 살인자 인권? 뭐 인권도 있겠찌. 근데 군포연쇄살인 범인을 한번 생각해봐라 그사람은 7명을 더 죽였다고 하지 않았나?? 그럼 그 7명 죽은사람 가족이 4명이라고만해도 최소 28명의 마음을 갈기갈기 찢어놓고 이제 인생도 망칠수도 있는데 얼굴공개를 안햬?ㅋㅋ 그리고 지금얼굴공개해서 뭐 살인자가 불이익받는것도 아니고 또 가족이 불이익을 받잖어. 내가 듣기로는 그사람 전범 몇과 있었따는데 아에 제한을 두어서 전범 x과 부터는 얼굴을 뛰울수 있게 해야한다. 범죄자 인권 옹호할생각하지말고 범죄자에게 당하는 시민들 입장을 생각해야지?[…]

On the Internet, people are busy arguing whether we have to publicize the serial killer or not. In my opinion, of course it should be publicized. The murderer’s human right? Yeah, he must have. But think about him. It is known so far that he killed seven people. If we consider one victim has 4 family members, at least 28 people were were heartbroken. But we still have to protect him? As I heard, he already had a criminal record. We should know identities of people who have more than X criminal records. Rather than protecting criminals’ human rights, don’t we have to consider citizens who are victimized by these criminals?[…]

The murderer’s cruelty leads many people to anger rather than to consider his human rights.

[…]저는 군포용의자 얼굴공개를 개인적으로 찬성하는 입장입니다. 반대하시는 분들중에 인권을 운운하시고 용의자가족이 무슨 죄가 있느냐라는 글이 정말 많은거 같네요. 그러나 7명을 어쩌면 더 죽인 살인마 한테 인권을 부여할수 있을까요?

그럼 그 용의자가 빼앗아간 꽃다운 나이의 대학생이며 한 가정의 어머니 이런 분들의 인권은 어떻게 된거 인지 궁금합니다. 이 미치광이 살인마의 인권이 존중되야 한다면 그 살인마가 죽인 아무잘못없는 고인들의 인권은 종이가루 인가요? 살인마는 살인마 일 뿐입니다. 더 이상 어떠한 인권을 운운하는건 고인과 고인의 가족들에게 더한 상처를 주는 것에 불과합니다.
 
또한 얼굴을 공개 하게 될 경우 용의자의 가족이 피해를 입는다는 글을 많이 보았습니다. 물론 아무 이유없이 피해를 입으면 안되는게 당연한거입니다. 그러나 용의자의 가족을 먼저 생각해주시기보다는 고인들의 가족을 한번이라도 더 생각해보셨으면 좋을거 같네요.
 
그리고 공개수배범의 얼굴은 공개하면서 파렴치한 살인자의 얼굴을 공개하지 못한 다는건 이치에 맞지않는다고 생각합니다.

[…]I agree with showing the criminal’s face in public. Opponents to this talk about human right and say his family members will be victimized with his crime. However, do we have to think about a murderer who killed 7 people?

Then how about human right of family members who lost lives, such as a college student? While this crazy murderer’s human right should be respected, human rights of the victims whom the murderer killed without any reasons are nothing. A murderer is just a murderer. Talking about his human rights is to hurt the victims and their families again.

Many netizens also said that if his face is shown in public, his family will have disadvantages. Of course, they shouldn’t be victimized without any reasons. However, rather considering the murderer’s family, I hope that you think about the victims’ families.

In addition, we show wanted criminals in public, but protecting the murderer’s face is not logical.

Are showing criminals’ faces to the public related to human rights for victims and their families?

결국, 가해자의 얼굴을 공개하므로써 생기는 효과는 대중들의 호기심을 채워주는 것 하나 밖에 없다고 생각됩니다.  그러나 대중들의 호기심을 채워주는 것으로 생길수 있는 제3자의 피해를 생각해 봐야 합니다. 가해자의 얼굴을 공개할 경우, 가해자의 가족들이 사회적으로 매장당할 가능성이 커지며, 가해자와 비슷하게 생긴 사람들도 피해를 볼 수 있습니다. 그리고 만에 하나 재판결과 가해자가 무죄가 될 경우(진범이 잡히거나 누명 등..)가 있을 수 있죠.

‘범죄자(가족)의 인권만 생각하고 피해자(가족)의 인권은 생각하지 않느냐'고 하시는 분들도 있는데, 범죄자(가족)의 인권과 피해자(가족)의 인권은 서로 독립적인 것입니다. 즉, 가해자(가족)의 인권이 보호된다고 피해자(가족)의 인권이 보호되지 않는 것은 아닙니다. 범죄자(가족)의 인권을 묵사발 내는 것이 피해자(가족)의 인권 신장과 무슨 상관이 있는지 모르겠군요. 그리고 경우에 따라서는 피해자의 가족이 가해자 얼굴 공개를 원하지 않을 수도 있습니다.

가해자의 얼굴을 공개하자는 주장,  유치한 호기심에 지나지 않다고 생각됩니다.

I think what we can get from publicizing the perpetrator’ faces is satisfying the public’s curiosity. However, we should think about the third parties’ damages. In that case, the perpetrators’ families will be buried in society. In addition, people who look similar with the perpetrators can get disadvantages. Or, after the judgement, there would be the possibility that the accused could be innocent.

Some people say ‘we think about human rights for the criminals (families), but don’t consider human rights for the victims (families).’ But human rights for the former and for the latter are separate. That is, protecting human rights of the criminals (families) doesn’t mean to protect those of the victims (families). I don’t understand how disregarding those of the former is related to those of the latter. In addition, some victims’ families don’t want to show the criminals’ faces to the public either.

Insistence on showing the criminals to the public is just from childish curiosity

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