10th October is the 4th World Day against the Death Penalty with the theme "Death Penalty a Failure of Justice". The extent of the failure in Thailand has been revealed by a prisoner who was on death row in Bang Kwang prison in Bangkok for five years before having his sentence commuted to life imprisonment. Now released he recounted impressions gathered from his follow prisoners. He points out that among the prisoners on death row who see no prospect of release no lies are told about their past, they are people in a hopeless situation whose only relief is to share the truth of their stories with their companions.
From hearing the stories related over many years the released prisoner, now a practicing lawyer, estimates that:
* 12 to 13% of those condemned to death are innocent
* 30 to 40% of those condemned to death were indeed implicated in the crime for which they are condemned to death but not to a degree which should merit execution
* aprroximately 50% are indeed guilty as charged
DEATH PENALTY A FAILURE OF JUSTICE
For details of World Day see link to World Coalition