The Supreme Court said on Monday that it finalized a lower court ruling on the woman surnamed Kim who was sentenced to four years in prison for murder.
Kim, 61, claimed that she killed her husband in self-defense as he had repeatedly assaulted her over their 37-year marriage. The attacks included stabbing her with a knife and hitting her head with a gas cylinder.
In March last year, Kim’s husband pushed her to the floor by grabbing her hair, condemning her for coming home late after drinking without calling.
Kim struck his head about 10 times with an ornamental stone.
“(Kim) struck her husband’s head several times after he lay on the ground,” the lower courts said.
“As Kim expressed only anger and did not mention fear in her testimonies to the prosecution, it is hard to recognize (the murder) as an act of self-defense, considering social norms.”
Kim’s lawyer claimed that she had cognitive disabilities when she committed the crime as she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from the constant domestic violence.
Kim said she remembered hitting her husband two or three times.
The Korea Women and Children’s Human Rights Center expressed regret over the Supreme Court ruling.
“(The court) must look into the details of the case, the motives and the state of the (suspect’s) body and mind to recognize an act of self-defense, unfit state or non compos mentis,” the center said.
“Like other countries including Australia, we need legislation to recognize an act of self-defense under certain conditions in cases of murder of a family member who constantly committed domestic violence.”
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)