A 20-year prison sentence and a fine of 18 billion won were confirmed for charges such as bribery of former President Park Geun-hye. Earlier, two years in prison was confirmed due to the intervention of the Saenuri Party, the predecessor of the people’s power, and the sentence is 22 years. It has been three years and nine months that former President Park was indicted in prison and actually lived a sentence. If parole or pardon is not granted and the sentence is filled, he can be released at the age of 87 in 2039. The final judgment came out yesterday, but in reality, it came out when the Supreme Court abolished and remanded at an appeal in August 2019, and in July of last year, when a revocation of the Seoul Court was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in accordance with the purpose of the Supreme Court. However, yesterday’s ruling on the Supreme Court’s reconsideration has a meaning that it has made former President Park a’person whose judgment has been confirmed’ and put him in a legal state where pardon is possible. Former President Lee Myung-bak was sentenced to 17 years in prison last October and a fine of 13 billion won. He also lived in jail for about a year and a half. Yesterday, the Blue House said, “It is inappropriate to comment on the amnesty immediately after the final judgment,” but in the future, it is no longer possible to avoid mentioning the amnesty due to the final judgment.
The pros and cons of a public opinion poll that came out after Lee Nak-yeon and Democratic Party representative raised the pardon of former President Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye at the beginning of the new year differs depending on the survey. Regardless of how the results came out, the pardon for the former president is not something to be done while looking at public opinion polls, but to the president at the level of sovereignty. The pardon for the former president, who took office through due election procedures, depends on the president’s will for national unity. If President Moon Jae-in is willing to pardon during his tenure for big politics, he should do so as quickly as possible without giving the impression that he is weighing the timing.
Democrats, including Gyeonggi Gyeonggi governor Lee Jae-myeong, argue that if they commit a crime, they should be punished. Such a seemingly obvious argument is actually contrary to the definition of amnesty, and is opposed to the president’s right to amnesty itself prior to opposition to the amnesty of the two former presidents. It is unreasonable to look at the fact that President Moon’s pardon for former Seoul superintendent Kwak Roh-hyun, who was imprisoned for bribery charges of 200 million won, was imprisoned for exclusion of the five major amnesty exclusions as a presidential election pledge. It is also awkward to put the premise of apology and reflection on the pardon for the former president. The former president suffered political humiliation enough for his imprisonment. However, it would be the least courtesy to the people to honestly admit and apologize for the sins that can be admitted upon pardon.
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