Capital punishment in Vietnam

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Capital punishment is a legal form of punishment in Vietnam. Capital punishment (the death penalty) is a special punishment only applied for persons who commit serious crimes. The death penalty cannot be applied to juvenile offenders, pregnant women, and women nursing children under 36 months old at the time the crime was committed or being tried. These cases are commuted to life imprisonment.[1]

Twenty-nine articles in the Penal Code allow the death penalty as an optional punishment. Executions were once carried out by a firing squad of seven policemen, where the prisoners were blindfolded and tied to stakes. The firing squad was replaced by lethal injection in November 2011 after the Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments (in article 59(1)) was passed by the National Assembly.[2][3]

In November 2015, a revision of the Penal Code that severely curtailed the death penalty was passed. Under the new regulations, which take effect on July 1, 2016, the death penalty will be abolished for seven crimes: surrendering to the enemy, opposing order, destruction of projects of national security importance, robbery, drug possession, drug appropriation, and the production and trade of fake food. In addition, those 75 or older will be exempt, and officials convicted of corruption charges can be spared if they pay back at least 75% of the profits they illicitly obtained.[4]

Crimes carrying capital punishment in Vietnam

According to the Penal Code, the following chapters contain the relevant articles that apply to capital punishment.

Penal Code Articles with Capital Punishment[1]
Chapters Articles
XI - Crimes Of Infringing Upon National Security 78, 79, 80, 82, 83, 84, 85
XII - Crimes Of Infringing Upon Human Life, Health, Dignity And Honor 93, 111, 112
XIII - Crimes Of Infringing Upon Citizens Democratic Freedoms None
XIV - Crimes Of Infringing Upon Ownership Rights 133, 139
XV - Crimes Of Infringing Upon The Marriage And Family Regimes None
XVI - Crimes Of Infringing Upon The Economic Management Order 153, 157, 180
XVII - Environment-Related Crimes None
XVIII - Narcotics-Related Crimes 193, 194, 197
XIX - Crimes Of Infringement Upon Public Safety, Public Order 221, 231
XX - Crimes Of Infringing Upon Administrative Management Order None
XXI - Crimes Relating To Position 278, 279, 289
XXII - Crimes Of Infringing Upon Judicial Activities None
XXIII - Crimes Of Infringing Upon The Duties And Responsibilities Of Army Personnel 316, 322, 334
XXIV - Crimes Of Undermining Peace, Against Humanity And War Crimes 341, 342, 343


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Penal Code (No. 15/1999/QH10)". Ministry of Justice. Retrieved 10 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Firing squad replaced by lethal injection". Viet Nam News. Retrieved 10 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "No: 53/2010/QH12 - Execution of criminal judgments". Misistry of Justice. Retrieved 11 October 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>