Majority want continued enforcement of death penalty: Nida Poll

Majority want continued enforcement of death penalty: Nida Poll

Amnesty International Thailand and other human rights activists protest the death penalty outside the Bang Kwang Prison, but a new Nida Poll indicates a huge majority of people want enforcement to continue. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Amnesty International Thailand and other human rights activists protest the death penalty outside the Bang Kwang Prison, but a new Nida Poll indicates a huge majority of people want enforcement to continue. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

A majority of people want the enforcement of the death penalty to continue, particularly for rape-murder convicts, according to an opinion survey carried out by the National Institute for Development Administration, or Nida Poll.

The survey comes almost a week after a 26-year-old convicted killer was executed by lethal injection, the seventh person to be put to death since the method was introduced and the first since 2009. The poll was conducted on June 21-22 on 1,251 people aged 18 and over of various levels of education and occupations throughout the country to compile their opinions on whether the death penalty should continue to be enforced.

The results are broadly similar to those of a Superpoll released on Saturday.

Asked to choose between a life sentence or the death penalty for those convicted of serious crimes, a huge majority of respondents -- 80.5% -- preferred the death penalty. A life sentence was the choice of 18.86%, while 0.64% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked whether the death penalty supports people's faith in the Thai justice system, 85.29% said "yes"; 12.07% said "no"; and 2.64% were uncertain or had no comment.

Another large majority -- 79.05% -- believe the death penalty is a deterrent to crime. Just 15.83% said it does not affect the crime rate, 2.88% said it actually increases it, and 2.24% were uncertain or had no comment.

Asked whether the death penalty should continue to be enforced, an overwhelming majority -- 92.49% -- agreed and 7.51% disagreed. Those who oppose the death penalty believe it does not lead to a drop in crime and that a life sentence is a better option.

Asked what type of crime warrants the death penalty, 54.45 mentioned rape-murder; 23.95% cited repeated offences of serious crimes such as murder and rape; 16.68% premeditated murder; 2.42% drug offences; 0.95% terrorism; 0.86% corruption; and 0.69% were uncertain or had no comment.

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(Video YouTube/AFP)

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