Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Setback for abolition in Thailand

Horrendous events such as reported below are setting back the approach to abolition in Thailand. We must admit that we are at the ultimate boundaries of decision. We must persist in rejecting execution as a solution. Vengeance achieves nothing, fails as a deterrent, and exacerbates the culture of violence. Which is not to deny in any way the horror of the crime. 

Train rapist sentenced to death
  Published: 30/09/2014 at 01:53 PM
   PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN - The Hua Hin provincial court has sentenced a railway employee to death for murder and aggravated rape of a young girl in July on a train heading to Bangkok whose body was later found beside the railway track.
The court on Tuesday found Wanchai Sangkhao, the first defendant in the case, guilty of several counts.
He was sentenced to death for murder, nine years in jail for raping a girl under 15, five years in prison for stealing while on public tranport vehicles at night, one year for hiding a body and six months for drug abuse.
The gravest penalty of death prevails.
The court rejected Wanchai's claim for mercy because he had confessed in an act of repentance. The court said Wanchai confessed because he had no choice as the evidence against him was so strong. There were no grounds for commutation of sentence.
Nattakorn Chamnarn, 19, the second defendant who was charged with helping another person rape a girl under 15, confessed during the investigation, but denied the charge in court.
Nattakorn was sentenced to six years in prison as an accessory. Since he confessed during the investigation stage, the penalty was commuted by a third to four years.
Wanchai, 22, a sleeper-car employee of the Railway of Thailand, confessed to raping on July 5 a 13-year-old girl, a Mathayom 2 student at Satrinonthaburi School, while she was asleep in a bunk of a carriage on the No.174 Nakhon Si Thammarat-Bangkok express train.
Wanchai subsequently threw her out the window, even though she was still breathing. She was killed by the fall. Searchers later found her body beside the rail track.

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