Thursday, 14 June 2007

No death penalty in draft Thai constitution

The assembly drafting Thailand's next constitution has removed any reference to the death penalty from its draft charter, according to a report in The Nation.

The Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) this week removed the expression "death penalty", which The Nation said paved the way for "a possible future campaign to eventually end capital punishment in Thailand".

If the death penalty was provided for in the constitution, a campaign for abolition would have to counter the argument that the punishment was allowed -- or protected -- by the country's highest law.

If references are left out of the final constitution, future campaigns against the death penalty will not face this significant impediment.

"It's good that the capital punishment issue has been adjusted [to remove it from the charter] as it reflects the thinking of a society that doesn't resort to violence," said Kannika Bantherngjit, a member of the CDA.

"We should no longer resort to an eye for an eye and should look at the real cause of crime. Strong punishment is not right. It leads to society solving problems by force."

The country's previous constitution was overturned by the military junta that seized power in September 2006.

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