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Punishment recommendation ceiling for child abuse homicide raised to 22 1/2 years

National 15:18 December 07, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- The Supreme Court has raised the maximum recommmended sentence for those convicted of child abuse resulting in death to 22 1/2 years in prison amid calls for tougher punishment for such heinous crimes, sources said Tuesday.

The highest court's sentencing commission held a meeting Monday and raised the standard sentence for the crime to 4-8 years in prison, with up to 15 years of imprisonment possible for aggravated cases, from the current 4-7 years in prison and up to 10 years for aggravated cases.

The maximum ceiling was raised to 22 1/2 years in cases where special aggravated determinants outweigh mitigating elements by more than two factors, the sources said.

The commission also newly introduced a sentencing standard for child abuse murder to range between to 17 to 22 years and that of aggravated cases to either to over 20 years or minimum life imprisonment. It plans to hold public hearings on the adjustment and finalize the decision in March.

The move came as a number of grisly child abuse death cases have made headlines as of late, most notably the alleged homicide of an adopted toddler named Jung-in last year, which caused nationwide grief and prompted demands for the death penalty for the child's stepparents.

Civic activists hold up banners saying "capital punishment" and "justice" in front of the Seoul Southern District Court on April 14, 2021, as a prison bus carrying the stepmother of a 16-month-old child, named Jung-in, arrives at the court for a hearing. The baby died in October of severe abdominal injuries and internal bleeding caused by "strong external force," though her stepmother claimed the toddler sustained the injuries when she accidentally dropped her. (Yonhap)


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