Thai Cabinet OKs Injection, Not Guns, for Executions

The Thai Cabinet today approved a proposal to execute criminals by lethal injection rather than by machine gun.

The change requires approval by Parliament. A statement issued after the Cabinet meeting said its decision was based on studies conducted by judges, police, prosecutors, health professionals and human rights activists.

Thailand has executed more than 300 people by gunfire since the practice was introduced in 1935. Prisoners are blindfolded and strapped to a pole and the executioner fires a mounted machine gun.

Human rights activists, led by Amnesty International Thailand, had petitioned the government seeking an end to the death penalty. Amnesty says at least 106 countries have abandoned the death penalty.