The topics came up as the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee reviewed provisions of the revised Penal Code.
Therevised Penal Code will consist of 26 chapters and 427 clauses.Eighty-seven clauses have been added and changes made to 370.
The revisions are expected to make the Penal Code more transparent and effective, said Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong.
One issue that generated heated debate was death penalty restrictions.
NguyenVan Hien, Chairman of the NA Justice Committee, said most membersagreed with the Government proposal to restrict death penalties byreducing the number of crime categories that will attract the finalpunishment.
It not only reflects the State’s humanitarian approach, but will also further judicial reform, he said.
Underthe revised law, the number of crimes that can attract the deathpenalty will be reduced from 22 to 14. However, several lawmakers saidthat for some dangerous crimes, the law should only consider commutingthe death sentence to indefinite life imprisonment.
NA ViceChairman Huynh Ngoc Son argued that the death penalty should not beabolished for the most serious crimes of breaching peace, wagingaggressive wars, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Chairwomanof the NA Committee for Social Affairs Truong Thi Mai agreed with thedraft that the death penalty is not imposed on criminals aged 70 andabove, saying it will bring align the law with global standards.
However,Son disagreed, saying people in their 70s generally had the physicaland mental capabilities to continue perpetuating crimes, includingfunctioning as the head of criminal organisations.
NA ChairmanNguyen Sinh Hung emphasised that amendments to the Penal Code should bein line with the spirit of the 2013 Constitution, particularly onpeople-related issues.
He asked relevant agencies to continue working on the draft before submitting it to the NA again.
Hien said that the regulations on abolishing the death penalty for certain crimes must be considered carefully.
Henoted that for drug trafficking, law assessment agencies said have thatthe crime has become more professional with well-organised stages –production, storage, transportation and sales. Sentencing drugtraffickers to death could act as an effective deterrent against thecrime, he said.
Chairman of the NA Nationalities CouncilKsor Phuoc said the draft law should restrict punishments for illegaldrug carriers and impose the death penalty only for heads of drug gangs.
The revised law also regulates that criminals whocooperate with investigators and other law enforcement agencies andvoluntarily hand over at least half of their ill-gotten money orproperty will be exempted from the death penalty.
The ongoing 37th session of the 13th National Assembly Standing Committee will close on April 10.-VNA