Lethal injections deferred for a month

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Vietnam will shift to lethal injections from firing squads in carrying out death penalties later this year instead of this month, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted a senior official as saying Tuesday (November 1).

The Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments took effect on November 1, but more instruction documents and equipment are needed to be prepared, so the lethal injection method will be used late next month, said Major General Ho Thanh Dinh, deputy director of the Department of Execution of Criminal Judgments and Judicial Support.

Dinh said department officials last week visited Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and the provinces of Son La, Nghe An and Dak Lak, where five lethal injection facilities will be built at an estimated cost of VND16 billion (US$761,700).

"Design plans have been approved and funds have been provided to the five cities and provinces, while teams of executioners are being trained," Dinh was quoted by Tuoi Tre as saying.

"All equipment used for lethal injection practice will be imported to Vietnam this month, while the chemicals used in lethal injections are already available," Dinh said.

He said more than 360 prisoners are currently on death row nationwide, most of them in HCMC, Hanoi, Nghe An and Son La.

The Ministry of Defense plans to build three more lethal injection facilities, he added.

"In the first phase, death-penalty prisoners in cities and provinces which are close to the five lethal injection facilities will have their sentences carried out in the nearest one.

Vietnam switches to lethal injection for death sentences

"Gradually, lethal injection facilities will be built in each locality."

The Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments was supposed to take effect in July this year, and later postponed until November.

According to the law, the family or legal representative of the executed person can receive the body for burial, but will have to pay for the transport of the body and must guarantee public order and environmental hygiene.

City and provincial governments will grant land for burials or assign burial places in cases where the family does not want to be involved.

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