The South Korean court has ruled the murder of a grandmother as “accidental” after her teen grandson brutally stabbed her 60 times.
A 19-year-old South Korean man was found guilty of fatally stabbing his grandmother 60 times. His 17-year-old younger brother assisted in the murder by closing the windows of their home to cover up their 77-year-old grandmother’s screams, according to The Korea Herald. The incident took place on Aug. 30 last year in a house in Bisan-dong, Daegu, at 12:50 a.m., and the hearing was held on Jan. 20 of this year, according to Korea JoongAng Daily.
The teen reportedly killed his grandmother out of rage due to her nagging. He allegedly attempted to murder his grandfather as well but was convinced not to by his younger brother.
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While prosecutors claimed the incident to be “a carefully planned crime” and had requested a life imprisonment sentence, the 19-year-old was only sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment, and the 17-year-old received a two-and-a-half-year sentence, according to Vice.
The ruling has sparked online criticism against Korea’s judicial system for ruling the incident “accidental” and for giving lenient sentences to the teens.
The court took into account the brothers’ poverty-stricken and tumultuous childhoods — the teens started living with their grandparents in 2012 after their parents divorced — as well as the elder brother’s reportedly “explosive emotional expressions.” The court determined that the teens did not murder their grandmother “out of malice.”
“He is well aware of his wrongdoing and seems to have sufficient room for reformation,” stated the judge, who also drew criticism for giving the brothers a book called “Bicycle Thief” — a Korean short story collection that includes a story detailing “a boy who tries to keep his good conscience among materialistic adults,” as described by Vice.
According to Vice, the juvenile justice system in Korea centers on rehabilitation as opposed to punishment, wherein offenders are encouraged to attend correctional treatment programs to rectify their behavior.