Teen-aged girls get harsh penalties for brutal killing of 8-year-old

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2017-09-22 16:19 Updated : 2017-09-22 17:46
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[Yonhap Photo]

A court handed down harsh penalties to two teen-aged girls on conviction of conspiring to kidnap and kill an eight-year-old girl nicknamed "Sarang (love)" whose body was dismembered and dumped, ruling their brutal crime was premeditated "very elaborately".

A 17-year-old girl was sentenced to 20 years in prison for abducting Sarang at a park in the western port city of Incheon on March 29 to strangle her to death at her home. She allegedly sent a social media message to her friend that she was going out for "hunting" and presented a body part as a gift.

An 18-year-old accomplice was sentenced to life for conspiring and dumping the dismembered body. They were ordered to wear electronic ankle bracelets for three decades.

The court in the western port city of Inchon found them guilty of plotting a brutal crime "very elaborately" in advance, rejecting the argument by the parents of a 17-year-old defendant that she was mentally ill and acted impulsively. The court scolded the defendants for lacking their "least respect for human life".

In South Korea, criminals under 18 are not subject to capital punishment or life imprisonment. A steady increase in shocking and brutal violence by teenagers sparked public calls for rewriting lenient legal codes governing young criminals.