News 12.01.08

A Wrongful Conviction is Overturned in South Korea


Jeong Won-seop was finally cleared on Friday at age 73 after serving 15 years in a South Korean prison for a rape and murder he has always said he didn’t commit. Friday’s hearing was the culmination of a decade-long legal battle to show that he falsely confessed after being tortured by police.

Sentenced to life for allegedly raping a killing a police chief’s nine-year-old daughter, Jeong served 15 years in prison before he was released on parole in 1987. He filed numerous appeals before

Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission

reopened his case as a potential human rights violation.

"It is not only a victory for me, but also a victory for Korean democracy,"

Jeong said after hearing the ruling (on Friday)

.

False confessions and the other causes of wrongful convictions are factors in every nation on Earth, and the movement to overturn wrongful convictions is gaining momentum around the world.

The Innocence Network includes groups from five counties

, and governments in countless other countries are working to embrace modern forensic science and reforms to prevent wrongful convictions.

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