Yesterday I read an article about an American, Arthur Patterson, who in 1997 while in the Republic of Korea, killed a 22 year old Korean man. Then, when released pending charges fled back to America. The story goes that while back in America, this person even bragged to his buddies about killing a Korean and getting away with it.
In 2005, the Korean government requested the American government locate Patterson so that he could be charged and extradited. The American government failed to locate Patterson (I don’t think they tried very hard).
Then, a Korean film crew making a documentary on the incident did locate Patterson where the American government had failed to do so. After learning of his whereabouts, the prosecutors asked that he be detained while they filed charges again.
In 2011, prosecutors in Korea filed murder charges against Patterson and had him extradited back to Korea to face the charges. From the time of Patterson’s arrest, it took another three years to get him back in Korea while he fought extradition. The prosecutors are seeking a 20 year prison sentence (which I think is awful lenient for someone who kills another).
On one site, there are Americans ‘outraged’ that he was extradited to Korea instead of being tried for the crime in America ‘where he could get a fair trial’. EXCUSE ME??? Have some Americans come to the point where they think that just because they are American that they are above other country’s laws when travelling abroad?
One of these same Americans mocked a person who responded to her, who was evidently Korean and attempting to respond in English, because he made grammar errors. I called her out on this and she then attacked me verbally and assumed that since I defended a Korean, I must be a North Korean.
I set her straight about who I am and the fact that I served America over 30 years in the military. The more I thought about her statements and those of others, the more agitated I became. America is a great country, BUT our way of life, our laws, and our ideology has absolutely no weight with foreign countries.
So, here are some tidbits to consider:
- When planning travel overseas, it behooves you to learn about their culture;
- It is also important to learn their language so that you can at least communicate a little in their tongue;
- Respect them and their culture, and they will respect you; and
- If you commit a crime, you do their time, not what you would get back here in America. You also have to submit to their judicial process.
That’s all I’ll say on this (for now anyway).