Our lead story this week is the most extraordinary tale of one man’s devotion to judicial independence. It is about a judge in Thailand who decided on death rather than dishonouring his oath of office. But, like the two other stories, it is also about the death penalty.
Judge Khanakorn Pianchana had found he should acquit the accused on trial before him. Before he could deliver his judgment, however, the chief judge ordered him to change his verdict: Instead of acquittal, three of the accused were to be sentenced to death; the other two to life imprisonment. Had he agreed to this, not only would he have violated his oath of office in obedience to political demands, he would also have sent three people to death row, unconvinced that they were guilty.