VIETNAM TO REPLACE FIRING SQUADS WITH LETHAL INJECTION
June 17, 2010: Vietnam's communist-dominated National Assembly voted to replace firing squads with lethal injection after lawmakers sought to find a "more humane" method of execution. "Deputies voted this afternoon to choose lethal injection as the sole method of execution, starting from July 1, 2011," a spokeswoman for the legislature said.
Almost all of the 433 lawmakers present in the National Assembly approved the change, according to the VietnamNet online news service.
Vietnamese authorities do not issue death penalty statistics but since the start of this year, 49 people have been sentenced to death and one person executed, according to reports in state-linked media.
Most death sentences in Vietnam are handed down in drug trafficking and murder cases. Last year the National Assembly removed rape and several other offences from the list of crimes punishable by death. (Sources: Agence France Presse, 18/06/2010)