The People's Supreme Court upheld a death sentence against a 26-year-old man who pled guilty to beheading and robbing his ex-girlfriend in July, local news website VnExpress reported. The court rejected an appeal for lighter punishment submitted by Nguyen Duc Nghia, who said he didn't kill Nguyen Phuong Linh to rob her. The court concurred with the July ruling that deemed Nghia's acts "cruel." Nghia and Linh had started a romantic relationship in 2006 and broken up one year later. According to the indictment, on May 4 this year Nghia asked Linh to meet him at his new girlfriend's apartment on the 11th floor of the G4 building in Cau Giay District, while the latter was visiting her hometown. After Nghia and Linh made love, he stabbed her to death. Then he cut off her head and fingers before wrapping her torso in a blanket and stashing it on the building's rooftop. After disposing of the body parts in different places, he pawned her motorbike, laptop aand mobile phone for money. … [Read more...] about Supreme court upholds death penalty against beheader
Appeals for death penalty
A 21-year-old man who led a machete-armed gang that hacked off a woman's hand and violently robbed at least 13 people in Ho Chi Minh City saw his death sentence upheld by a city appeals court on Monday. The HCMC People’s Court also maintained the first trial’s verdicts against three of Ho Duy Truc's accomplices who had appealed for reduced sentences, including one life sentence. The board of judges said Truc’s criminal acts were “too brutal” and had frightened the public. They also said that he committed his crimes “professionally” and was “unchangeable,” given that he and his gang had conducted 15 robberies across the city between June and November last year. Previously the man had been hit with two sentences totaling 12 years from a court in the south-central province of Ninh Thuan, where he had conducted two robberies. According to the indictment, for the robberies in HCMC, Truc and his accomplices stole 15 motorbikes, … [Read more...] about Vietnam court upholds death penalty for slasher robber
A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday reduced a death sentence previously handed to a Nigerian man for bringing methamphetamine into Vietnam to life imprisonment, local media report. The indictment said Ejiogu Benjamin Ikechukwu had nearly 3.3 kilograms of the drug in metal tubes and a laptop charger in his luggage as he flew to Tan Son Nhat in June 2012. He had transited in Qatar. The 33-year-old said he only planned to go to Vietnam to buy clothes to resell them in Nigeria and had no idea about the drug in his luggage. He said a man asked him to carry the tubes and the charger to Vietnam and someone would pick them up. A Ho Chi Minh court in August 2013 sentenced him to death, but he appealed the verdict. The People's Supreme Court then canceled the verdict, ordering a new investigation. Investigators could not track down the people who had used him as a drug mule. Those convicted of smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine in Vietnam … [Read more...] about Vietnam court overturns death penalty for Nigerian drug mule
Many lawmakers have objected to the government's plan to let convicts escape death penalties by returning half of the money or property they gained from their offenses. According to the proposal, part of a series of amendments drafted for Vietnam's Penal Code, the rule should be applied to people who do not commit "extremely serious" crimes, without specifying which ones. Lawmakers interpreted the proposal as a way out for corruption convicts, arguing that they will be the main beneficiary and that the rule, if passed, will cause injustice. Nguyen Duc Chung, an assemblyman from Hanoi, said at a meeting on Tuesday it is "unfair" that corrupt officials who steal a huge amount of public money can live, while while poor people who deal drugs have to accept death sentences because they have no money to pay. The death penalty needs to remain as the highest punishment for corruption crimes, or laws will lose their deterrence effect, he said. Huynh Ngoc Anh from Ho Chi Minh City agreed, … [Read more...] about Death penalty still needed to punish corrupt officials, lawmakers say
Earlier, on January 5, following blanket media coverage about appeals by death row inmates, the apex prosecutors’ office had launched a review of 16 convictions that showed signs of miscarriage of justice. On December 4, a day before a murder convict was to be executed by lethal injection, President Truong Tan Sang had ordered a last-minute reprieve and instructed related agencies to investigate if there had been a wrongful conviction. In a country where death sentences are often handed down to those convicted of drug offences and murder, analysts increasingly raise two major questions: Has the death penalty played any role in deterring those crimes? And, in the context of increasingly disturbing media reports about wrongful convictions, how can Vietnam ensure innocent people are not executed? There is a third, possibly more important, question: Is the country really equipped to carry out executions? Minority “Vietnam belongs to an increasingly small minority of countries … [Read more...] about Is Vietnam ready to abolish death penalty?