Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Mock-trial at Can Tho University Law School, Vietnam

A murmer went through the packed auditorium, and some nervous giggles. My translator whispered the law student in the role of prosecutor had just announced the first accused should be executed .

After three hours of evidence and argument the panel retired to consider its verdict. It returned in only 10 minutes to find the two men Guilty, and sentenced them to 20 years and 16 years, a bit less than what the real offenders got last year for the rape and murder.


  1. Yikes - is capital punishment possible in Vietnam? (Can you imagine having to teach about capital punishment and sentencing factors to law students?)

    Good to hear Vietnam is going well - hoping to talk to you soon xxxxh

  2. Yes, very difficult to imagine teaching sentencing factors around a death penalty. Not to mention teaching / practicing the ethical duty to the court, when it could kill your client!
    Of course, the US has specialist death penalty clinics, and some great successes since DNA became evidential.
    Hope you're keeping well.