Capital punishment in Thailand
Capital punishment in Thailand is a legal form of punishment. Under the Penal Code, the death sentence can be imposed as punishment for 35 crimes, including drug trafficking. Thailand is one of 58 countries that sanction capital punishment.
Prisoners who receive the death sentence can appeal for a royal pardon.
During the Rattanakosin period, Thailand--then called Siam--was under the "Law of the Three Seals", also called “Kotmai Tra Samduang”. This system was codified in 1805 during the reign of King Rama I under absolute monarchy and remained in place until Thailand transitioned into a constitutional monarchy, following a bloodless revolution in 1932. There were 21 different forms of capital punishment under the Law of the Three Seals, many of them extremely cruel--for example, those convicted of treason would be wrapped in oil-soaked cloth and set on fire. Execution methods have changed over the years. In 1938, for example, convicts were executed using a single automatic rifle. In 2001 five convicts were executed by firing squad in a public execution, provoking strong criticism from human rights groups.
Statistics of general views within the population
A 2014 Bangkok Post article said that "Mahidol University lecturer Srisombat Chokprajakchat said last week that her survey indicated more than 41% of Thais nationwide want to keep the death penalty on the books, but only 8% want to scrap capital punishment, with the majority undecided. Ms Srisombat said most of those who favoured execution as a legal punishment felt it was the most effective deterrent against capital crimes, including murder and rape.
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