Aristotle, a philosopher in ancient Greece, defined equality as absolute and relative. That is, consider same as same and different as different. Equality has been thought importantly for a long time. How about the present situation? As society has developed, people’s consciousness also advanced. But today, exceptional situations happen. Precisely the exceptional example is that the former president Lee Myeong-bak carried out special pardon for special people. Essentially he must regard same as same. But when we saw the recipients of special pardon, the president seemed to regard same as different. Special pardon is the president’s unique right that no one can invade. If the degrees are beyond and objection to public’s opinion, no matter how unique right, public’s distrust would be returned. So let’s figure out why special pardon that was executed by principle causes controversy.
Special pardon and recipients.
Pardon means freeing someone from punishment. Especially special pardon takes care for ‘specific’ people and dissipates the effect of penalty by the president’s command without agreement of parliament. However nowadays, special pardon is seemed to take care for not specific people but special people. Choi Si-joong who was president’s mentor and ex-chairman of Korea Broadcasting and Communication Commission, and Chun Sin-il who was an old friend of president were recipients of special pardon. In addition to them, there were Park Hee-tae, Kim-Hyo-jae, etc. Choi received 600 million in return for admitting Pi-city. Chun received 4.6 billion in return for concealing the taxable investigation. Besides Park who was ex-representative of Grand National Party scattered money and Kim who was ex-senior secretary of the Blue house leaked secret information about investigation concerning D-DOS attacks. Among 55 recipients of special pardon 19 were politicians.
Why special pardon executed as the President’s unique right causes controversy?
At inauguration of the government, President promised that he would not abuse privilege of pardon and not execute for criminal who committed a crime related corruption. Also he explained this pardon was followed by the promise. However when people examine the recipients of pardon, they can know that president said one thing and did another. Park Hee-tae and Chun Sin-il are the example. Most recipients were criminals who committed corruption and did not serve their term in prison. In addition 5 years ago 5 people were placed under arrest because of the Yong-san disaster. The public made an appeal for amicable management. But as 5 years went by, their jail term was nearly expired, president included them as a way of insertion for muffling the complaint of people. That is, when some committed a same crime, one had a benefit and another was disregarded. Namely, special people who had lots of money, a powerful backer are special in the punishment.
How the special pardon proceed through foreign example.
In Korea, Special pardon was executed as custom at the end of president’s term. From the past special pardon was the king’s merciful treatment for the minority who was falsely accused. However these days, special pardon is used to for political ends. Besides, comparing foreign special pardons, Korea’s is used more frequently. In France, special pardon is prohibited for public officials who committed corruption and political criminals. Also in the USA, the government prevents abusing pardon by admitting the criminals who served more than 5 years of their term in prison. Like the foreign examples, Korea need to more strict in its amnesty. So the pardon has to be used without misunderstanding of abuse.
Some might think that special pardon is a bad system. But positive parts are clear. For instance if the judiciary system made mistakes, that mistakes could be corrected by the pardon system. But as democracy and national consciousness are growing, mistake in the juridical system will be decreased. Because of that, pardon system also needs to be more strict than previously. Since all of president’s right comes from the public, the president would not have to execute something betraying the public’s trust.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >