Calls for Death Penalty in Wake of Nong Gaem Rape and Murder

 | Wed 9 Jul 2014 20:24 ICT

CityNews – Netizens are calling for a mandatory death sentence for rape-and-murder crimes, following a brutal attack on a 13-year-old girl on Sunday.Photo from @Palm_RescueClub Twitter account.
The website has had a petition calling for the death sentence to be imposed for rape-and-murder crimes since last year, following another case in Bangkok. It has now gathered more than 21,000 signatures. 
Campaigners are also calling for a halt to pardons and early releases for sexual offenders. A large number of celebrities have expressed support online for the laws to be changed, calling for mandatory death sentences for such crimes.
Mr Wanchai Saengkhao, 22, was this week arrested for the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl nicknamed Nong Gaem, confessing to the crime after her body was found two days after the attack.
He was ordered to return to the scene and re-enact the case, for use as evidence against him in court, but this has been postponed as police fear vigilantes may take justice into their own hands.
Reports today said Mr Wanchai had also admitted raping two female colleagues in a train toilet on separate occasions in the past year. The unnamed women are thought to have been too scared to report the crime, and police are asking them to come forward to help with the case.
The Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation has demanded that State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Prapat Chongsanguan resign. He responded by asking if his resignation would help solve the problem.
The SRT has already taken action by banning the sale and consumption of alcohol on all trains. Prapat also said the SRT would make more of an effort to conduct thorough background checks on all of its employees.
After Mr Wanchai’s arrest, it was revealed that he used to deal drugs, which the SRT was unaware of. He had recently been upgraded from temporary to permanent employee status.
The SRT is also said to be considering the introduction of female only carriages in the future, but failed to mention whether male members of staff would work on them.
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has now assigned military and police units to take care of security on trains.