First-time offenders are offered no leniency in the latest draft version of the Vietnamese law on amnesty.
The draft was presented by To Lam, Minister of Public Security, at a meeting of the National Assembly in Hanoi on Monday.
Another tentative amendment is that criminals who were granted an amnesty in the past and received over two convictions are eligible for a pardon possibility, while the current amnesty law, which came into effect in 2008, excludes them from consideration.
The draft revision retains a number of points on the requisites for an amnesty, such as obedience to prison regulations; diligent performance of jobs assigned; and completion of half a jail term or 15 years of a life sentence.
Special cases for early release cover offenders who made significant achievements for the government; wounded soldiers; those who are sickly or suffering from deadly diseases; those under 18 or 70; and women who are pregnant or caring for a baby under 36 months old.
The draft says amnesty is given on the occasion of important events, major national holidays, or in ‘special circumstances.’
Between 2009 and 2016, amnesties were given nearly to 85,900 prisoners and over 1,000 offenders with suspended jail sentences, with 1.16 percent of the two groups relapsing into crime, according to the Ministry of Public Security.