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Poliziotto davanti al tribunale di Città Ho Chi Minh
A policeman guards Ho Chi Minh City courthouse
VIETNAM PLANS TO REMOVE ROBBERY, DRUG CRIMES FROM DEATH PENALTY LIST

March 24, 2015: The Ministry of Justice has proposed abolishing the death penalty for a number of crimes including robbery and heroin smuggling, reducing it to life sentence at most.
Deputy justice minister Dinh Trung Tung told legislators at meeting Tuesday (March 24) that the Penal Code is being amended to strengthen deterrence and make it more humane.
“We will only apply the death sentence for especially serious crimes,” he said, suggesting they include brutal murders, murders together with rape or robbery, first-degree murders, and crimes that seriously threaten human development and public order, like corruption.
The ministry plans to scrap the death penalty for crimes like robbery, destruction of construction and materials of national security importance, disobeying authorities’ orders, surrendering to the country’s enemies, breaking the peace, causing wars of invasion and other war crimes.
With regard to drug crimes, it plans to keep the death penalty only for dealing.
Other acts including smuggling and possessing drugs will carry a maximum of life imprisonment.
Tran Van Do, a former deputy judge in the Supreme People’s Court, said severe punishments alone won’t reduce crimes.
“The most important thing in criminal justice is to guide people to do good.”
Do referred to Vietnam’s largest drug trafficking trial last June when 29 people were sentenced to death.
He said if the laws had been strictly applied 60 people could have got the death sentence.
“Then it would not be a trial. It would have been a massacre.”
Nguyen Tat Vien, member of the Central Justice Reform Steering Committee, said Vietnam’s legal punishment system is too severe but not necessarily effective.
“The death sentence takes away the right to live, the most important right of a person. It also takes away their chance to do good and prove themselves innocent if they are.
“It’s necessary to narrow the effect of death sentences.”
Minors, pregnant women and women with children under three are exempt from the death sentence.
The ministry plans to add people aged 70 and above to the list.
Officials at the meeting, which was held in Hoa Binh Province near Hanoi, mostly agreed with the proposals, but said punishment for corruption should remain strict to build public confidence.
To protect human rights, Tung said the ministry plans to add three new crimes to the Penal Code: violating people’s voting rights, distorting opinion poll results, and violating freedom of speech and freedom to demonstrate.
The new Penal Code is also set to make punishment for violation of religious freedom more stringent.
Vietnam switched from death by firing squad to lethal injection in November 2011, also on humanitarian grounds.
But the occasional lack of drugs required for lethal injection causes death row inmates to wait not knowing when they will be killed, which many have said is worse than death. (Sources: Thanh Nien News, 25/03/2015)

PAKISTAN: ANOTHER FOUR DEATH ROW PRISONERS EXECUTED IN VARIOUS JAILS OF THE COUNTRY
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: DEATH SENTENCES AND EXECUTIONS 2014
MALAWI: 24 CAPITAL PUNISHMENT CASES GONE FOR RETRIAL, 5 REVERSED
USA: ASSISTING EXECUTIONS ‘FUNDAMENTALLY CONTRARY TO THE ROLE OF PHARMACISTS’
INDIA: FOUR SUSPECTED MAOISTS GET DEATH SENTENCE IN MURDER CASE
BANGLADESH: SEVEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
AFGHANISTAN: DEATH SENTENCE COMMUTED FOR MURDERER OF GERMAN PHOTOGRAPHER NIEDRINGHAUS
IRAN: SEVEN PRISONERS HANGED IN SHIRAZ
IRAQI JUDICIARY SENTENCED A SAUDI AND A TAJIKISTAN WITH DEATH FOR BELONGING TO ISIS
IRAN: 12 PRISONERS SECRETLY EXECUTED IN A DAY
SRI LANKA: MAN GETS DEATH PENALTY FOR HEROIN POSSESSION
PAKISTAN: ANOTHER MURDER CONVICT HANGED IN FAISALABAD
INDIA: PRESIDENT PRANAB MUKHERJEE COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE OF A CONVICT TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT
PAKISTAN: SIX MORE HANGED IN VARIOUS JAILS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
SAUDI ARABIA: PAKISTANI NATIONAL AND SAUDI MAN BEHEADED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING AND MURDER
UAE: TOP COURT REJECTS DEATH FOR CONVICTED KILLER
EGYPT: MILITARY COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCES ON 7 MILITANTS
PAKISTAN: ANOTHER MURDER CONVICT HANGED IN MULTAN
IRAQ: ISIS MILITANTS STONE COUPLE ACCUSED OF ADULTERY
USA: PHARMACISTS ARE GETTING CLOSER TO CUTTING OFF ACCESS TO DEATH PENALTY DRUGS
CHINA: THREE PEOPLE EXECUTED FOR KUNMING RAILWAY STATION ATTACK
SOMALIA: TWO FEDERAL GOVT SOLDIERS EXECUTED FOR CIVILIANS MURDER
UTAH (USA): GOVERNOR HERBERT APPROVES EXECUTIONS BY FIRING SQUAD
BANGLADESH: MAN TO WALK THE GALLOWS FOR KILLING WIFE
SOMALILAND: POLICE OFFICER SENTENCES TO DEATH OVER THE KILLING OF BUSINESSMAN
SOMALIA: AL-SHABAAB MILITANTS EXECUTE 'ETHIOPIA SPY'
PAKISTAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR BLASPHEMY
CHINA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR ARSONIST OVER LAND DISPUTE
PAKISTAN: FOUR MORE PRISONERS SENT TO THE GALLOWS
PENNSYLVANIA: 'STOP TRYING TO EXECUTE TERRY WILLIAMS,' SAYS WIDOW OF MAN HE MURDERED

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IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK  
  SOMALIA - DEATH PENALTY AND TERRORISM  
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