THAILAND. ROYAL MERCY FOR THOUSANDS OF JAIL INMATES
December 10, 2007: convicted wife killer Wisut Boonkasemsanti and former public health minister Rakkiat Sukthana are among 25,000 prisoners whose sentences have been reduced or ended under a royal pardon given by His Majesty the King to mark his 80th birthday. Other infamous prisoners benefiting from the pardon include Maj Chalermchai Matchaklam.
The pardon frees inmates with less than one year of their sentence remaining, Corrections Department director-general Wanchai Roujanawong said. Chosen prisoners who received the death sentence have it commuted to life, while those with life sentences have their terms reduced to 40 years.
Wisut, a gynaecologist, was sentenced to death by the Supreme Court in July for murdering his wife Phassaporn in 2001, dismembering her body and flushing the parts down the toilet in a highly publicised case. Maj Chalermchai also received a death sentence for killing then-Yasothon governor Preena Leepattanapan in 2001. (Sources: Bangkok Post, 12/12/2007)