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Law is on the side of the rapist

In Thailand, reports of passengers suffering sexual assault on public transport like taxis are not uncommon, but the cruelty of the rape and murder of a young girl on a train from Surat Thani to Bangkok has aroused public anger to the point where there is now a widespread demand for harsher punishment and a review of the legal system.

Although the State Attorney is duty-bound by law to prosecute the accused in criminal cases regardless of any civil settlement, minor sexual offences in Thailand can often be wrapped up by the accused paying off his victim.

Even for cases where the prosecutor is able to put the culprit behind bars, the convict might be freed after serving perhaps just half of his sentence, thanks to superfluous leniency and clemency.

When prosecution can be avoided due to slack law enforcement, and punishment can be substantially reduced, there is not enough deterrence for the would-be offender.

It is time to consider bringing back capital punishment for ferocious offences of this nature, even when the accused confesses after being arrested.

Yingwai Suchaovanich


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