Thailand’s Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for a former school director who shot and killed three people, and injured four others while robbing a gold store at a shopping mall in 2020.
On January 9, 2020, Prasittichai Khaokaeo rushed into Robinson Department Store in Muang district, Lop Buri, armed with a 9mm handgun fitted with a sound suppressor, and shot dead three people: a security guard, a two-year-old kid walking with his mother, and a woman employee of Aurora gold shop. He also shot and injured four others.
Prasittichai then robbed the gold business, stealing 22 one-baht and 11 fifty-satang gold necklaces worth a total of 664,470 baht at the time.
Prasittichai was charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, and other offences by public prosecutors, shop owner Aurora Design Co, and ten other parties.
On August 27, 2020, the Criminal Court sentenced Prasittichai to death and ordered him to pay reparations.The lower court’s sentence was later upheld by the Appeal Court. He petitioned the Supreme Court for a lesser sentence.
The Supreme Court confirmed both lower court decisions on Wednesday, stating that there was no reason he should be allowed a reprieve for the cold-blooded atrocities he committed.
Death penalty in Thailand
Thailand has the death penalty as a legal form of punishment, although it is rarely used. The country uses lethal injection as the method of execution, and it is typically reserved for the most serious crimes, such as premeditated murder, drug trafficking, and treason.
In Thailand, the decision to impose the death penalty is made by a court of law, and the convicted individual has the right to appeal the decision. However, the appeals process can be lengthy and complex, and the chances of having a death sentence overturned are relatively low.
There has been some controversy and debate over the use of the death penalty in Thailand, with some arguing that it is a necessary deterrent against violent crime, while others argue that it is a cruel and inhumane punishment that violates human rights. In recent years, there has been a movement in Thailand to abolish the death penalty, but it remains in place as of 2023.