The Marmot's Hole

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Tag: Oh Won-chun

Why even have the death penalty if you’re not going to use it on a guy like this?

Politically, I subscribe to something akin to the “Seamless Garment,” so a big fan of capital punishment I am not.

That said, if you’re going to have capital punishment on the books—and Korea does—I can think of few people more deserving than this monster, who was just sentenced to life in the pen.

Despite the fact that the country hasn’t executed anyone since 1998, the death penalty enjoys wide support in Korea. President-elect Park Geun-hye supports it, too, and her dad was such a big fan of it that he once had eight people executed for sedition just 18 hours after their sentencing.

Anyway, the family of Wu’s victim aren’t happy:

The victim’s family expressed anger at the court, saying such a “demon” like Wu deserved capital punishment, but judges were too lenient.

“We don’t understand why the state should spend valuable taxpayers’ money on keeping him in a prison,” a family member told reporters.

Like I did in the title of the post, I ask, why even have the death penalty if you’re not going to use it on a guy who raped, murdered and then dismembered a young woman with the likely intent of selling her flesh for human consumption?

Human meat, foreigners and xenophobia

The Hanguk Ilbo reports that netizens want the Oh Won-chun killing reinvestigated.

In particular, with the court raising the possibility that human meat might be in circulation, the netizens want investigators to look into the possibility that human meat really is circulating. Prosecutors, for their part, have reportedly decided to investigate the possibility of black market sales of human meat in response to popular opinion.

Lots of rumors and “ghost stories” going around, too, including ones regarding cannibalism in China.

One DP lawmaker has even gotten into the mix, calling for a reinvestigation, saying prosecutors needed to reveal where in China the convicted Oh went back and forth from, why he had four cell phones, who he was communicating with and where the money he had came from.

BTW, Oh’s appealing his death sentence.

Among the people calling for a reinvestigation are civic groups dealing with migrant workers and crimes committed by foreigners (more about them later), who held a protest at Seoul Station on Sunday. The head of one anti-foreign crime group said the “Suwon Human Meat Butchering Incident” was the inevitable result brought about by the general failures of policies on foreigners, and called for Oh to be reinvestigated and all illegal immigrants to be rounded up.

He also told the homeless gathered in front of Seoul Station that if it weren’t for the government’s indiscriminate multicultural policies, they (the homeless) would be with their families now, and called for the government to abandon immediately its multicultural policies and adopt policies after gathering the opinions of the people.

Which brings us to the Kyunghyang Shinmun, which in an article entitled “Xenophobic Groups Appear; Might a Korean KKK Appear,” warns that xenophobic groups are engaging in both online and offline actions, citing the protest and groups mentioned above (as well as other groups). While their power is still limited, it is growing. The groups claim the usual stuff—foreigners causing rising crime rate, foreigners bringing Third World diseases, foreigners taking jobs and college position, foreigners depressing wages, etc.

More interestingly, a survey by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA) on attitudes regarding foreigners and immigrants revealed that 64% believed if the number of foreign immigrants rises, you’ll have immigrant riots and demonstrations like you see in foreign countries, while 50.3% believed that if the number of foreigners and immigrants increases, it will gradually grow more difficult for Koreans to find work.

Marmot’s Note: Honestly, the groups seem rather small and more inclined to online action. That said, with the number of foreigners and foreign-born on the rise, you can’t expect everybody to like it. As multiculturalism becomes more and more of an issue, I imagine these groups are going to get larger and louder, too.

Oh Won-chun sentenced to death

Suwon District Court has sentenced joseonjok killer Oh Won-chun (a.k.a. Wu Yuanchun) to death.

I don’t support the death penalty, but no tears will be shed when this guy’s swinging at the end of a rope, especially after you read this:

시신의 살점을 365점 도려낸 잔혹성과 엽기성을 고려했다”고 포문을 연 재판부는 “오 씨가 피해자를 강간하려 납치했다기보다는 사체 인육을 제공하려는 목적이 상당하다고 볼 수 있다”고 판단했다.

Yes, you read that right—the court believes he kidnapped the victim more to eat her provide human flesh, not rape her. The Dong-A also raised the possibility of organ smuggling, and indeed, some anti-migrant worker groups were calling for a re-investigation a couple of days ago, claiming that Oh might be a serial killer after human meat and organs to smuggle back to China. An investigation of bone fragments found near Oh’s home revealed them to be animal bones.

UPDATE: More of the same from the Chosun Ilbo. And while I’ve been reading claims from the victim’s family for some time, if you haven’t seen them in English yet, here they are, courtesy the Korea Times:

Footage of a surveillance camera, however, revealed Wu attacking the victim first and dragging her into his home. Signs of attempted rape were not discovered either. The bereaved family called for a detailed probe, including a possible link between Wu and a Chinese criminal gang which allegedly smuggled human body parts.

The bereaved family cited the smuggling of the so-called “human flesh capsules,” made of dead human fetuses or infants, from China that rocked the country recently. The family has claimed Wu could have been a member of such a gang although the prosecution failed to find any link.

The court also recognized such a possibility despite lack of evidence.

“The court finds it a reasonable argument that Wu’s crime was intended for the trafficking of human body parts rather than rape”, the judge said. “It’s suspicious that the murderer took about six hours to cover up the scene, twice as long as in similar crime cases.

“Also while the corpse was sliced into many pieces, all the organs remained undamaged, so there needs to be a clear explanation.”

Honestly, I don’t know what to believe.

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