June 19, 2013: As many as 117 death-row inmates will be given lethal injections made in Vietnam beginning June 27 when a new regulation takes effect.
The amended decree on lethal injection stipulates that each prisoner will be given a shot containing three kinds of drugs: one that induces the loss of consciousness. a muscle relaxant, and one designed to stop the heart.
Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang said the 117 prisoners had been awaiting execution indefinitely due to a lack of lethal injection drugs, which Vietnam previously had imported from Europe.
However, the European Union banned the exportation of lethal injection drugs because it regards capital punishment (which is also banned) to be a violation of human rights.
The ban had left Vietnam unable to execute a prisoner since November 2011, just as the country had implemented a switch from the firing squad – which had been used previously – to lethal injection as its method of execution. Lethal injection is commonly considered a more humane form of execution.
Last month, the government issued the decree that called for the domestic production of lethal injection cocktails. Now that the poisons are being produced locally, executions will resume as soon as the decree takes effect.
Vietnam’s former decree on lethal injection stipulated that three specific drugs produced in the EU had to be used in executions. (Sources: thanhniennews.com, 19/06/2013)