Continuing the fifth sitting of the 13th National Assembly, deputies on May 25 examined the draft amendments to the Enterprise Law, a proposal asking for NA approval of the State budget balance for 2011 and some other issues.
After completing necessary preparations, Vietnam will switch from firing squad to lethal injection for executions in January 2012, said Major General Ta Xuan Binh, deputy head of the Criminal Verdict Execution and Judicial Assistance Police General Department.
The lethal injection application will pilot in fives provinces and cities, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nghe An, Dak Lak and Son La, the official said.
One of the first steps preparations is a training course that was opened in Hospital 198 in Hanoi yesterday, for police officers and soldiers who will be in charge of performing the lethal injection on death row prisoners, Binh said.
The Ministry of Public Security has also submitted a plan for execution by lethal injection to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for approval, Binh said.
The plan’s goal is to build facilities, provide equipment, and train personnel for 66 execution centers, 63 of which will be managed by local police departments, while the other 3 are to be controlled by the Defense Ministry.
The project is expected to be completed in 2015, but the first five centers will be made available for the selected localities in December.
The execution chamber will have a bed to which the prisoner will be strapped and injected with the lethal drugs by an automatic machine. Prison officials will monitor the death through a heart monitor.
Three drugs will be used: sodium thiopental, to anesthetize the condemned;, pancuronium bromide, to paralyze the nervous system and muscles;, and potassium chloride, to stop the heart.
The application of lethal injection for executions has been twice delayed due to a lack necessary facilities and personnel.
It was first expected to be carried out on July 1, when the Law on Execution of Criminal Verdicts was passed, but was postponed until November 1 and then again until next January.
Around 360 prisoners are currently on death row, mostly in HCMC, Hanoi, Nghe An, and Son La.
The death penalty is given for 29 different crimes including murder, armed robbery, treason, drug trafficking, sexual abuse of children, and economic crimes, such as embezzling VND500 million (US$24,000) or more of state property. But, in practice, it is mostly given only for drug trafficking and murder.