90 percent of executed prisoners’ bodies stolen

25/05/2010

VietNamNet Bridge – That was the figure cited in a report of the National Assembly Standing Committee about the draft Law on Enforcement of Criminal Verdicts presented at the ongoing National Assembly session on May 24.

Chair of the NA’s Legal Committee Le Thi Thu Ba.

“In many cases, after being executed, families of death penalty prisoners tried every way to steal the bodies. In some provinces, up to 90 percent were stolen,” noted Chair of the NA’s Legal Committee Le Thi Thu Ba.

In this context, many NA deputies said that the bodies or ashes of death penalty prisoners should be given back to their families. However, they said the dead bodies of gangsters should not be released.

The relative merits of various forms of capital punishment – firing squads, lethal injections or even the electric chair were debated by National Assembly deputies. They discussed the most humane way of execution, especially the use of lethal injections, firing squads or a combination of both.

At present in Viet Nam, the death sentence is carried out by a firing squad. According to the National Assembly Standing Committee, the use of firing squad puts undue pressure on law enforcement officers and the families of prisoners. In her report, Thu Ba argued that legal injection was widely used in many countries. “Lethal injections cause less pain, are easier to carry out, less costly and less psychologically damaging to the executors,” said Ba.

However, she said that at least a year would be needed for law enforcement officials to work out procedures for lethal injections before submitting them to the Government for approval. She asked the National Assembly to delay the enforcement date of the law until July 1, 2011.

Hanoi’s deputy Dang Huyen Thai supported Ba’s idea, but asked the law drafting committee to be more specific about the injection procedures. Dong Thap’s deputy Nguyen Huu Nhon came up with another option – a condemned person’s choice of using an electric chair.

Deputy Pham Xuan Truong from Thai Binh insisted on the use of firing squad. “This is a good way to warn other people. To lessen psychological damage to executors, why don’t we use automatic rifles?” Truong said.

Hung Yen’s deputy Le Van Hung said the draft law had failed to mention forms of punishment for prisoners who were carrying out suspended sentence terms yet continued violating the law.

Lawmakers also discussed the labour and products made by prisoners as well as the treatment they needed when they completed their sentences.

The NA will vote on this bill on June 17.

Source:  VNN

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