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Majority believe convicted criminals shouldn’t get a Royal pardon


In the wake of Minister of Justice Somsak Thepsuthin initiating a Royal pardon for many people convicted of corruption, drug trafficking, and other serious crimes, the National Institute of Development Administration polled 1,317 people and found overwhelming opposition to the proposed pardon.

The NIDA poll was done by phone between December 13 and December 15 and respondents from around the country represented people of various backgrounds and occupations. It asked whether a person should be pardoned to receive a reduced sentence if they have been convicted of various crimes including corruption, drug trafficking, and more serious crimes like murder or rape.

The Justice Minister raise ire in many people with his proposed pardoning of a slew of convicted people that included former ministers, businessmen, and senior officials who had been previously convicted of corruption. The pardon would severely reduce the length of their prison term.

In the poll, the majority of people were against reduced sentences for any of the crimes, but far more so for crimes like murder or rape than corruption. Also, a majority (55%) believe sentence reductions should be determined by a collection of related parties like judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies, not just by a singular decision by the Corrections Department.

The respondents to the survey answered the following questions:

Should prison sentences be reduced for people who were convicted of corruption?

  • 50% – no, they shouldn’t.
  • 26% – a convicted person should not be pardoned before serving at least half of their sentence.
  • 20% – yes, they should be pardoned.
  • 2% – do not have an opinion.

Should prison sentences be reduced for people who were convicted of drug trafficking?

  • 74% – no, they shouldn’t.
  • 13% – a convicted person should not be pardoned before serving at least half of their sentence.
  • 13% – yes, they should be pardoned.

Should prison sentences be reduced for people who were convicted of serious crimes like rape and murder?

  • 86% – no, they shouldn’t.
  • 7% – a convicted person should not be pardoned before serving at least half of their sentence.
  • 7% – yes, they should be pardoned.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 





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