By The Nation
Under Thai law, people convicted of rape can only be punished with a jail term, but often these offenders commit the crime again after serving their term.
Chatri Ruamsoongnern, the prime suspect in the recent brutal murder of a 26-year-old teacher in Saraburi, had previously been convicted of raping the wife of a friend a few years ago. He has allegedly confessed to killing the teacher – but claimed he did not try to rape her – after she fought him off last week.
“We believe rapists should be sentenced to death because even if their victims survive, they become the living dead,” the founder of a Facebook page pushing for death for rapists in Thailand said.
It was difficult for rape victims to return to a normal life emotionally, he said, no matter what counselling they have undergone. He also cited the fact that Chatri had walked out of jail just 10 months ago and had just confessed to killing the young teacher.
“Why should we let such convicts repeat their crimes? How many more victims will have to suffer such a fate?” he asked.
Thailand has not executed convicts for about seven years. The last executions were carried out in 2009 against convicted drug traffickers.
The country will be seen as having scrapped capital punishment in practice if it does not execute any convict for a decade.
At present, the great bulk of countries – about 140 – no longer implement the death penalty, either by law or in practice. Just 22 nations continue to end the lives of serious criminal offenders.
But by population size, more than 60 per cent of people in the world live in the countries where capital punishment is still carried out. Countries with large populations such as India, the United States and Indonesia, all endorse the death penalty.
Supporters of the capital punishment believe the death penalty is a deterrent and a sure way to prevent criminals from committing crimes again.
Opponents, however, argue that capital punishment is not a deterrent and express concern about the risk of innocent people being executed before vital details can emerge to clear people who face incriminating evidence.
On Monday night, police escorted Chatri to the teacher’s rented flat in Kaeng Khoi district in Saraburi to re-enact the crime after being forced to cancel a session earlier in the day due to the presence of angry people.
Chatri is currently under court-approved detention.
Meanwhile, police in Bang Na in Bangkok yesterday applied for an arrest warrant for Ekapon saw Teaw, 31, for allegedly raping a student in a public toilet late last month.
Records show that Ekapon already faces legal action for alleged possession of drugs and in 2013 he was accused of peeping at a woman on a toilet at a petrol station in Samut Prakan province.