From the JoongAng Daily

A serial killer was sentenced to death yesterday by a Seoul district court, amid a debate here on whether the country’s death sentence should be abolished.

Between January 2004 and April 2006, Chung Nam-kyu, 37, killed 13 people and injured 20 women and children in 25 separate attacks in southwest Seoul. He stabbed many of the victims.

In its sentencing, the court said it decided to deliver the stiffest sentence possible because Mr. Chung showed no remorse for his actions and there was a danger he would repeat them.

“The accused prepared for his crimes with gloves and masks and tried to commit the perfect crimes. The motives were not financial or based on individual grudges, but were done for his own satisfaction.”

After receiving the sentence, Mr. Chung, the oldest son of a farmer from North Jeolla province, said,

“Strangely, my life has been a mess. If the country and society had given me help this tragedy would not have happened.”

Kim Myung-sik, an official at Amnesty International’s Seoul office, said yesterday the death penalty has not been enforced since December 1997. Currently, 62 people have received the sentence as the final judgment.