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Plan to redefine ‘serious’ crime’ to reduce incarceration being considered

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Plan to redefine ‘serious’ crime’ to reduce incarceration being considered

By CHAKKAWAL SALAYTOO 
THE NATION

 

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BANGKOK: -- THE COUNCIL of State is considering adjusting the definition of certain criminal offences so they are punishable by administrative penalties rather than jail.

 

The move is due to the high number of criminal cases that are overwhelming the court system and overcrowding jails nationwide.

 

Criminal Code Amendment Committee member and legal expert Pokpong Srisanit spoke at Bangkok’s Berkeley Hotel Pratunam yesterday at a council-hosted seminar about the criteria for criminal offences in the legal code.

 

Pokpong said Section 77 of the 2017 Constitution stipulated that criminal punishments should apply only for serious cases, and the committee concurred that Thailand was suffering from a persistent increase in criminal cases. 

 

That has led to several negative impacts, including people losing their fear of the law, courts being overwhelmed by criminal lawsuits, inmates crowding prisons and petty offenders unnecessarily having to live with a criminal history, Pokpong said.

 

All these impacts incurred costs to society, he said, adding that Thailand ranked sixth in the world in terms of the number of criminal suspects involved in the judicial process, at about 300,000 people.

 

The state reportedly spends about Bt100,000 per criminal case – including the wages of police, judges and related officials – and only Bt6,000 per civil lawsuit, according to a study by Thailand Development Research Institute, Pokpong said.

 

To save costs, the state should enforce other laws to punish wrongdoers, he said. While serious crimes such as theft and murder must still be subject to criminal prosecution, he said other offences, such as those involving cheque payments or copyright infringement, could be punished by administrative penalties to save the country money.

 

Another committee member, Prathan Wattanawanich, said the criminal code suffered from an “inflation” in terms of jailable offences, which stemmed from lawmakers’ unfamiliarity with administrative penalties.

 

 He recognised Section 77 as a key step towards change for the better, although he added that one of the challenges would be in making relevant officers understand administrative penalties.

 

Another committee member, Surasak Likhasitwattanakul, said that not all of society was keen to abide by the law, but people did fear being caught by the police. Society had not yet clearly addressed the issue of which offences should be criminal, Surasak added.

 

With the Section 77 guideline that only serious offences be deemed criminal, lawmakers needed to study a framework for the definition of criminality, he added. His own suggestion was that serious crimes were those that impacted society as a whole.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30326612

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-09-14

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

Society had not yet clearly addressed the issue of which offences should be criminal, Surasak added.

 

Society may not have decided which offences are criminal, but the Junta has.

 

If it is 'red', it is criminal. If it is 'yellow', it is not. Simple.

 

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Some merit in the thinking. But how many accused of serious criminal offences become incarcerated? Seems that many 'escape' (overseas or into orange robes) or buy their way or "wai" their into a small or no sentence at all?

 

For less serious criminal offences, rather than incarceration, draft them into the Army to serve in the southern provinces for a year? :whistling:

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1 hour ago, ChrisY1 said:

Murder may now become a petty crime !

Hasn't it always?

 

Calling someone on their BS is the biggest crime here. "How very dare you criticize me for my dishonesty and abhorrence!"

 

That and mushroom picking. 

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Does community service exist as a punishment in Thailand? If not it should. Plenty of jobs that minor criminals could do.

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Seems a smart move....lets get rid of drug possession as a prison-able offense...but let's put the hisos who commit serious crimes into jail cells.

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'' Administrative Penalties ''.     Right Lad; sit down here and write one million times...'I will not be a naughty boy from now on and especially won't vote red ' !

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Might soon be needing the space perhaps?

 

 

The relevant bit's at the start, c. 0.10. Ha! I joke.

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21 minutes ago, madmitch said:

Does community service exist as a punishment in Thailand? If not it should. Plenty of jobs that minor criminals could do.

Only if you run over several Cyclists and kill them or knock a car off a flyover and kill people.....and then you don't bother turning up for community service because you are too unwell !

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We know, which crimes are the most "serious" in this country!

And it is not murder or rape or anything like that...

:coffee1:

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I suppose "serious" crimes  will be committed by the poor, like picking mushrooms,

while the rich and influential ,never seem be brought to book for them,even when

its murder.the two tier justice system is alive and well in Thailand.

regards worgeordie

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The Khon Kaen "belles" should be freed immediately. They will do their wais and 50 hours of community service in a massage parlour.

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2 hours ago, worgeordie said:

I suppose "serious" crimes  will be committed by the poor, like picking mushrooms,

while the rich and influential ,never seem be brought to book for them,even when

its murder.the two tier justice system is alive and well in Thailand.

regards worgeordie

'Yeah, by the poor and farangs.   But open season ON them!

 

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