While an angry public joined the signature drive, it has no legal standing to impeach the judge. Under the Constitution, one-third of sitting lawmakers must agree to submit a bill of impeachment. After that, a vote of over half of the lawmakers is needed to actually remove a judge.
So pretty much nothing to the judge, I guess.
One glaring omission, as noted by a Dave's commentor, is that no mention is made of what will happen to the girl. Are there no homes that can look after her rather than the goddamned family that raped her? Is anyone trying to help her, to give her a home? I'd be the first to donate money to give her a place to go, if only I knew of some organization like that set up.
The article talks about the domestic outrage at the ruling, but from what I saw the story didn't make very big news. The several times I checked it wasn't among the most-viewed stories on Naver, and that the petition has only some 16,000 signatures is telling. That works out to a mere 400 a day since my November 24th post, thus showing that as English-language coverage was slowly increasing, interest among Koreans was tapering off. I don't need to tell you how small a number that 400 a day is, given how many Koreans use the internet and how worked-up netizens get over stories large or small.
I and others sent the story around to other outlets, but while they carried the actress adultery story, they didn't bite on this one. A few forums and bloggers helped get the word out, but I'm surprised it wasn't bigger news. As you can tell, Koreans are very sensitive about overseas media attention, so you can bet any story like this that causes embarrassment would get more things done. Actually, the cynic in me says that a foreign microscope would lead to more editorials about how foreigners need to mind their own business and stop distorting Korea's image.
One of the blogs that found the story is The Gimp Parade, who posted this short paragraph:
English-language bloggers in South Korea have been passing this story around for a week now, mostly discussing their outrage at how bad the Korean justice system is at punishing sexual assault. This is juxtaposed against another news story of Korean prosecutors demanding a famous actress be jailed for 18 months for adultery, though bloggers are focusing little on the disability aspect and more on the sexual politics of the Korean judicial system and Korean culture. Disability, in the English-language analyses of this news, is mostly invisible. It's not clear to me how it rates in importance among Korean citizens.
The disability angle was one WTF? out of many WTF?s, and I'd suspect many foreign commentors were more interested in the sexual politics angle given the treatment of women and of sex crimes here, and that foreign women are certainly not immune to abuse and assault.
I showed the petition to a few of my coworkers and they said that this type of thing isn't uncommon, that it's not unusual to hear stories of incest and abuse of special needs children, especially in the countryside where nobody really keeps track of them. I'd like to deputize Gusts of Popular Feeling to look into this a little more.