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Discussion of the Death Penalty in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the death penalty here in Thailand. This is a topic that comes up rather frequently. I get asked this somewhat frequently in a sort of criminal law context is, “Does Thailand have the death penalty?” The short answer is “YES but, do they use it? Not really”.

A recent article in the Bangkok Post which is of note,, the headline is “Death Penalty Soon to End ‘in Practice’”, posted April 16, 2018. Quoting directly, Thailand will be one step closer to becoming a country that is no longer considered to have capital punishment next year according to a definition which adopts a 10 year period for declaring a country execution free in practice says Amnesty International Thailand. Last year Thai courts ordered 75 executions, a decrease from 216 cases in 2016. According to the Department of Corrections as of December 2017, they were 502 prisoners in Thai jails who had been sentenced to death. Miss Piyanuch, an official in Thailand, an official in Amnesty International, said that the country could go further by officially suspending the death sentence together with commuting the sentences of those who have received the death penalty but have yet to be executed. Basically, the thing they're talking about here is, although strictly speaking there is the death penalty in Thailand as a matter of practice and for all practical purposes it doesn't really exist because they haven't imposed it on anybody in nearly 10 years and the moment that that 10-year threshold is breached, Thailand is placed on a list where they have kind of effectively gotten rid of the death penalty. My personal opinion on the death penalty I am not going to get into in this video but something that is interesting to note is that there are still people who are on "death row". They have been “sentenced to death”, they just simply haven't had the execution carried out. Thailand utilizes a very prominent system of pardons which happen very frequently and they come down from the Royal Level. It is very frequent that you see people pardoned for all kinds of things, I am not going to get into pardons here specifically in any further depth but it does seem logical to assume, based on facts that have occurred up to this point, that Thailand could get to a basically a de facto state where it is not really a jurisdiction that allows execution of prisoners in their criminal justice system.