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No more “I was drunk” defense for rapes

“I was drunk” will no longer get you a reduced sentence in rape cases:

The Supreme Court yesterday confirmed the original verdict at an appeals hearing for a 42-year-old sex offender surnamed Gwak, sentencing him to seven years in prison and that he be listed on the online sex offender registry for five years following his release from prison for rape.
[...]
Gwak appealed to the Supreme Court, saying that the previous trials were unfair because they excluded his drinking excuse when deciding the sentence.

Gwak also said it is unfair that the courts deprived him of a chance to reach an out-of-court settlement with the victim.

In another case, a court in Gwangju actually increased the sentence of another cretin who cited his drunkenness in his appeal.

This seems to be a cause to celebrate. Still, the news ain’t all good. A Seoul Court recently fined a man who was charged with beating and knocking out a noraebang girl after she refused to stay in a hotel with him. He put the unconscious girl in his car and drove around the Seoul/Gyeonggi-do area for several hours before dropping her off at the hospital. In sentencing him to a fine rather than prison, the judge said it was the assailant’s first crime, he did what he did because he was momentarily upset, and that he confined the woman in order to deal with the situation, not commit another crime. The judge also said the man had lost his job over the incident, and if he were sentenced to a suspended prison sentence, he would face serious disadvantages in getting a job.

As I Tweeted at the time, this is why judges get shot with arrows.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • bumfromkorea

    As I Tweeted at the time, this is why judges get shot with arrows.

    Best sentence ever. :D

  • http://ulsanonline.com martypants

    FInally! I was amazed some criminals who did of the most heinous sex crimes ever committed were given reduced sentences because they were drunk. Amazing that was ever a factor.

    It’s quite possible Korea might finally shrug off that “emerging” tag as a country. They aren’t there yet, but just maybe.

  • CactusMcHarris

    Korea, another step closer to the league of fair nations.

  • R. Elgin

    What is really bad news is that Korean archers are the best in the world. Ouch . . .

  • Ex-Ex-Pat

    If drunks were excused for their crimes on the basis of their drunkeness the prisons would be empty.

    However, I am always loathe –extremely loathe– to lecture Koreans on matters of crime and punishment. I am an American living in American. Our judges give long sentences in our brutal prisons. Yet our crime rates are outrageous. Korea has less crime and fewer prisons and nothing resembling what you would see on lockup. Who are we to so much as even suggest tweaks to their system?

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  • Anonymous_Joe

    #5 Ex-Ex-Pat: “If drunks were excused for their crimes on the basis of their drunkeness the prisons would be empty.

    However, I am always loathe –extremely loathe– to lecture Koreans on matters of crime and punishment. I am an American…. Our judges give long sentences in our brutal prisons. Yet our crime rates are outrageous. Korea has less crime and fewer prisons and nothing resembling what you would see on lockup.

    …hmmmm

    1) “If drunks were excused for their crimes on the basis of their drunkeness the prisons would be empty” since drunkeness is an excuse for what otherwise would be a crime and therefore no crime exists.

    2) “(American) judges give long sentences in our brutal prisons. Yet our crime rates are outrageous. Korea has less crime and fewer prisons and nothing resembling what you would see on lockup” since in America drunkeness is no excuse for a crime; therefore, a crime exists in the U.S. in cases of drunkeness (or other inebriation).

    Now with this, let’s assume what we would usually call a drunken, non-consensual sex act brutally and indisputably occurs. If the act occurs in the U.S., then the American crime rate will become even more so outrageous. If the act occurs in Korea, then there is no crime and therefore no need for Korea to build more prisons.

    The obvious solution for the U.S. to lower its outrageous crime rate is to emulate the Korean model and excuse acts that would be criminal in the U.S. but excused in Korea.

  • Ex-Ex-Pat

    No, Joe. You missed my points entirely. I will try to clarify.

    #1 Many, if not most, violent crime, assaults, rapes, etc., are committed by men under the influence of drink or drugs. The prisons are full of men who did awful things while lit.

    #2 My point is not for Korea to emulate the U.S. or the U.S. to emulate Korea. What works in one place may not work in the other. Korea has less violent crime than the U.S. by any standard. They are not under reporting their crime by letting drunks go scott free. Koreans are far more law abiding than Americans and much less violent.

    #3 I agree with you that many Korean rapists get off light and this is appalling. My simple point is that I am always amazed by how little reluctance Americans seem to show in declaring that the Koreans need to be more American in the way they practice justice. Our house is a mess yet we insist our blueprint is the only one. Maybe there are other ways to prevent violent crime than locking perpetrators into brutal prisons for decades. Even a consideration of this concept seems to be too much for you to take. No?

  • Anonymous_Joe

    #7 Ex-Ex-Pat: “No, Joe. You missed my points entirely. I will try to clarify.

    #1 Many, if not most, violent crime, assaults, rapes, etc., are committed by men under the influence of drink or drugs. The prisons are full of men who did awful things while lit.

    #2 My point is not for Korea to emulate the U.S. or the U.S. to emulate Korea. What works in one place may not work in the other. Korea has less violent crime than the U.S. by any standard. They are not under reporting their crime by letting drunks go scott free. Koreans are far more law abiding than Americans and much less violent.

    re #1: The prisons in the U.S. or the prisons in Korea?

    re #2(a): “Korea has less violent crime than the U.S. by any standard.” By the standard of unreported and if reported then non-prosecuted domestic violence? By the standard of sexual assault that police don’t write up? By the standard of drunken ajusshi crime that gets them a night in the drunk tank and a free pass the next morning?

    re #2(b): “They are not under reporting their crime by letting drunks go scott free.” I agree that Korea is not under reporting its crime by letting drunks go scott free. If drunks go scott free and there is no conviction for whatever objectively viewed act they committed, then no crime had occurred.

    Consider these two scenarios: At 2:00 a.m., a police office views a car exceeding the speed limit that cursorily breaks at but blows through a red light. The officer hits his lights and sirens and pulls over the operator. There is no property or bodily damage.

    In situation one, the operator is a drunk driver. In situation two, the operator drives his pregnant wife to the hospital because she is in emergency labor. Whether these situations occur in the U.S. or Korea, objectively situation 1 is the same as situation 2. What do you think will be the impact on crime statistics in the U.S. and Korea? (You may freely ignore the preposterous supposition that a car gets pulled over for blowing a red light in Korea and at 2:00 a.m. no less)

    #3 I agree with you that many Korean rapists get off light and this is appalling. My simple point is that I am always amazed by how little reluctance Americans seem to show in declaring that the Koreans need to be more American in the way they practice justice. Our house is a mess yet we insist our blueprint is the only one. Maybe there are other ways to prevent violent crime than locking perpetrators into brutal prisons for decades.

    I think Americans declare that Koreans need to be more American in the way they practice justice in the sense of a concept of equality before the law. One’s place in the Confucian order seems to play a more important role in judicial determination than objective facts.

    Even a consideration of this concept seems to be too much for you to take. No?

    If that is a cheap shot, then I ask what have I posted that indicates that I deserve such?

    If your statement is genuine incredulity that Americans in general (and specifically me) cannot conceive of the need for prison reform, then I honestly do not know of anyone who I have a voluntary association with who does not think the American prison system needs reform. Your elucidation displays a profound grasp of the obvious.

  • http://www.san-shin.org sanshinseon

    OK, this is a good trend; however, if the venerable “I was drunk” defense can no more be used to excuse lame, unamusing or misguided posts on the Marmots Hole, i am afraid i will have to abandon commenting here, lest punishment loom over my future.

  • hardyandtiny

    No more “I was drunk” defense for rapes – Korea

  • Arghaeri

    Are we still allowed that excuse when we wake up in the morning with an ugly broad :-)

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