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

Activists from child abuse prevention organizations lamented the appellate court ruling that commuted a life sentence for an adoptive mother who murdered her toddler daughter to a 35-year prison term, in front of Seoul High Court in Seoul on Nov. 26. (Yonhap)
Activists from child abuse prevention organizations lamented the appellate court ruling that commuted a life sentence for an adoptive mother who murdered her toddler daughter to a 35-year prison term, in front of Seoul High Court in Seoul on Nov. 26. (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. (Yonhap)

 

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