Capital punishment is a legal penalty in Vietnam.
It cannot be applied to juvenile offenders, pregnant women, and women nursing children under 36 months old at the time the crime was committed or being tried. These cases are commuted to life imprisonment.
Twenty-nine articles in the Penal Code allow the death penalty as an optional punishment. Executions were once carried out by a firing squad of seven policemen, where the prisoners were blindfolded and tied to stakes. The firing squad was replaced by lethal injection in November 2011 after the Law on Execution of Criminal Judgments (in article 59(1)) was passed by the National Assembly.
In November 2015, a revision of the Penal Code that severely curtailed the death penalty was passed. Under the new regulations, which take effect on July 1, 2016, the death penalty will be abolished for seven crimes: surrendering to the enemy, opposing order, destruction of projects of national security importance, robbery, drug possession, drug appropriation, and the production and trade of fake food. In addition, those 75 or older will be exempt, and officials convicted of corruption charges can be spared if they pay back at least 75% of the profits they illicitly obtained.