Vietnam to suspend lethal injection execution after three failed attempts

By Phan Anh   April 9, 2020 | 06:00 pm PT
Vietnam to suspend lethal injection execution after three failed attempts
A view of a death chamber. Photo by Jenevieve Robbins/Texas Dept of Criminal Justice/Handout via Reuters.
Convicts will have their executions suspended temporarily if they are still alive after three doses of the lethal cocktail have been administered, a new decree says.

The decree, which will take effect April 15, says that the execution of a convict sentenced the death penalty is to be done with the administration of a combination of three drugs: one that causes unconsciousness, another that paralyzes the musculoskeletal system and yet another that stops the heart from beating.

One dose using the aforementioned three drugs is to be used for one person. The drugs would be provided by the Ministry of Health on the request of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Security, the decree says.

Before an execution is carried out, three doses are prepared, two of which are backups. If the heart is beating 10 minutes after the first dose, the second dose will be administered, and if that does not work either, the third, the decree says.

If the person is still alive 10 minutes after the third dose, the execution would be temporarily suspended. Doctors would then report the state of the prisoner to the council responsible for carrying out the death sentence.

In Vietnam, 18 crimes including rape, murder and corruption can lead to the death penalty. The country switched from execution by a firing squad to the administration of lethal injections in 2011.

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