Man Who Spent 20 Years In Prison Has Conviction Overturned After Serial Killer Confesses
A man in South Korea,who wrongfully spent 20 years in prison has been cleared of murdering a teenager, after a serial killer confessed to the crime.
In 1988, a 13-year-old child was raped and killed in her bedroom in Hwaseong, a rural area near Seoul.
On Thursday, a retrial in the case of her death found Yoon Seong Yeo – now in his 50s – not guilty of the crime.
The teenager’s death was one of 10 murders in the area between 1986 and 1991. The overturning comes after a serial killer, Lee Chun-jae, confessed to the murders.
The judge’s verdict found that police had used torture, such as sleep deprivation and illegal detainment, to coerce Yoon into confessing to the crime.
Yoon, who was 22 years old at the time, was handcuffed in a room for three days, not allowed to sleep and barely ate during the interrogation.
‘As a member of the judiciary, I apologise to the accused, who suffered great physical and mental pain, for the court’s failure to function properly as the last bastion of human rights,’ Judge Park Jeong-je said, as per CNN.
‘We sincerely hope that the retrial of this case will be a little consoling and contribute to the restoration of the accused’s honour,’ he added.
Yoon, who had claimed his innocence for years, said he was relieved at the outcome of the retrial.
‘I can let down this heavy load I’ve been carrying for 30 years and get some rest,’ he said.
Yoon was only granted a retrial after police made a breakthrough in the case last year.
New DNA evidence linked some of the Hwaseong murders to Chun-jae, a convicted murderer who has been in prison since 1994 for the rape and killing of his sister-in-law.
Following the discovery, he confessed to all 10 of the murders and another four that police did not provide details on, as per CNN.
In July, the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency’s chief said that during the initial investigation of the 1988 murder, police had assaulted Yoon.
‘We bow down and apologise to all victims of the crimes of Lee Chun-jae, families of victims, and victims of police investigations, including Yoon,’ he added.
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