[Letters] Too mild of a punishment for rape in Korea

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[Letters] Too mild of a punishment for rape in Korea

Rape is a terrible crime all over the world. So, each country tries to prevent rape with its own punishment. In America, they give life imprisonment or isolate the sex offenders from society. China doesn’t hesitate to sentence the death penalty. Lots of countries, including Germany, Denmark and Canada, legalize chemical castration. However, Korea just imprisons the sex offenders for up to seven years. Sometimes criminals have to wear a mandatory electronic anklet but it’s a very unusual case. Korea’s punishment is not appropriate to prevent rape for three reasons.

First, second convictions for rape are too common. Two years ago, there was a horrific rape by Kim Gil-tae in Korea. This crime shocked Korea because he was imprisoned for rape and did it again after he was released. Actually the repeat conviction rate for rape is especially high. According to statistics in 2011, the rate reached 40 percent. To prevent the recurrence of rape, a heavier penalty is no doubt necessary.

In addition, the current penalty cannot play a role as a warning to others. Punishment is only aimed at punishing the offenders rather than warning and discouraging potential criminals. As a result, the number of rapes increased by 2.4 times in five years. Moreover, the rate continues to go up. This will continue until the severity of punishment is changed.

The penalty should protect others from crimes. These days, people who have daughters in Korea live with concern. Because of mild punishments, the sex offenders are abound. A punishment should guarantee safety for people with female family members. Unless we fix the loophole in the punishment system, horrific rapes and repeat crimes will continue to plague our society.

by Ko Jong-beom Student at Kaist
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