His lawyer did what he could, arguing his client was drunk. Pleading for leniency, he said the defendent was the fourth of five children, and had faithfully carried out his military duties with the goal of going to college after leaving the service and becoming a psychiatrist. He said he was just a 21-year-old youth with no record up till now.
When asked by the judge if he had something to say, K said there was no excuse for what he did, even if he was drunk. He said he knew even if he admitted he wronged the victim, he could not be forgiven, but he wanted to apologize anyway, and that he’d have nothing to say even if he were sentenced to death.
He won’t be sentenced to death, but prosecutors are asking for 15 years, citing the viciousness of the crime and the fact that they don’t believe he was that drunk when he did it.
Civic groups, however, are worried that after the sentencing, when public opinion settles down, USFK will ask the Korean side to turn him over, citing the SOFA provision calling for the Korean side to show “favorable consideration” in such requests. Such a SOFA provision reportedly does exist, although it has apparently never been used.
K will be sentenced on Nov 1.