SEOUL, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- A petition calling for Seoul police to punish a man accused of stabbing a worker at an Internet café in the capital reached more than 897,000 signatures Monday.
The petition reached the highest number of signatures since the presidential office opened an online petition website last year, according to Chosun Ilbo. It gathered more than 897,500 signatures by Monday after it was posted last week.
A police investigation found a 29-year-old man surnamed Kim stabbed a 20-year-old part-time worker to death at a local Internet café in Seoul on Oct. 14. Police said Kim and the part-timer started an argument over cleaning a table. Police were called in to stop their bickering and returned. Kim, however, came back a few hours later with a knife and stabbed him to death.
Public fury has been growing after a doctor who treated the part-timer revealed details of his stabbing wounds and brutality of the incident.
Police sent the suspect to a state hospital under the management of the justice ministry for a month-long psychological examination on Monday after his family submitted his medical records of depression.
The petition called for police to uphold punishment, regardless of depression.
"We can't let police to reduce sentences just because of psychological disorders and depression," it read.
Past court cases show reduced charges for defendants under the influence of alcohol or who showed psychological problems during a crime.
In 2009, South Korean prosecutors demanded a lifetime prison term for a 56-year-old pedophile who raped an eight-year-old girl and caused a severe damage to her body. However, the Supreme Court convicted him with a reduced 12-year-prison term, citing the influence of alcohol.
Meanwhile, Seoul police decided to reveal Kim's face and identity amid growing public fury.
South Korean police reveal identities of criminals in cases of violent crimes with sufficient evidence that can confirm a criminal suspect.