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Vietnam Planning To Drop Death Penalty For Drug Crimes, Robbery

Vietnamese justice officials announced Tuesday that they plan to abolish the death penalty for a number of crimes including robbery and drug trafficking.

The proposal was submitted by Deputy justice minister Dinh Trung Tung at a meeting with legislators to “strengthen deterrence and make it more humane,” according to Thanh Nien.

“We will only apply the death sentence for especially serious crimes,” he said, adding that it should only be used for brutal murders, murders together with rape or robbery, first-degree murders, and crimes that seriously threaten human development and public order, like corruption.

Other crimes that would no longer carry the death penalty include 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.

However, not all of those convicted of drug crimes will be immune, as those caught dealing will still face the deadly punishment.

Former deputy judge of the Supreme People’s Court, Tran Van Do, said the death penalty alone doesn’t reduce crime.

He also pointed to a case last year where, if the law had been strictly enforced, 60 people could have received death sentences.

“Then it would not be a trial. It would have been a massacre,” said Do.

[Thanh Nien // Photo via]

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