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(LEAD) Court hands down rare death sentence for suspect in double murder case

16:22 June 23, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with details in paras 3, 5-9)

INCHEON, June 23 (Yonhap) -- A district court handed down a rare death sentence Thursday for a 53-year-old man for killing a woman for money and murdering an accomplice in December last year.

The man, Kwon Jae-chan, was charged with robbery and corpse abandonment in the double murder case after allegedly strangling the 50-something female acquaintance to death at a building in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Dec. 4.

He used her credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM and stole her jewelry while the woman's body was kept inside the trunk of a car.

The following day, Kwon murdered and buried a 40-something male accomplice on a hill near Eulwangri Beach on Yeongjong Island off the coast of Incheon.

Delivering the capital punishment, the Incheon District Court pointed out Kwon appears to have no possibility of reformation and shows no signs of serious repentance.

"Recovery of humanity cannot be expected from the accused," the court said, adding it is giving the death penalty to hold him accountable and prevent the recurrence of a similar crime.

Kwon was also ordered to wear a tracking device for 30 years.

Since its last execution on Dec. 30, 1997, South Korea has not carried out any death penalty, and the country is globally categorized as an "abolitionist in practice."

Handing out the capital punishment is still permissible under the law, and 60 people were serving time in prison at the end of 2020 after getting the death penalty.

Murder suspect Kwon Jae-chan (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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