HANOI, Vietnam, May 15 (UPI) -- Prisoners in Vietnam will be executed by lethal injection using a domestically made poison mixture instead of firing squads, government officials said.
Besides changing the method of execution, the government, by decree, said domestically prepared lethal injections will be used for executions because the government has been unsuccessful in getting the substance from a foreign supplier, Tuoitrenews.vn reported Wednesday.
The mixture to be used for lethal injections in Vietnam beginning June 27 includes an anesthetic, a drug that paralyzes the muscular and skeletal systems and a drug that stops the heart's activity.
Vietnam couldn't import the three-part drug because other countries refuse to sell it for use in executions. The government asked the Health Ministry to research and produce the substance in-country.
The Public Security Ministry said training and preparations for applying lethal injection has been completed with the construction and installation of equipment in five detention centers, VietNamNetBridge reported. Executions by injection will begin as soon as the lethal mixture is available.
The move from firing squads to lethal injection came about through a law passed by the National Assembly in 2010 because lawmakers were looking for a "more humane" method of execution, Tuoitrenews.vn said.
The change was scheduled for early 2011 but was delayed because of foreign companies' refusal to ship the drugs after learning they would be used in executions.
More than 500 prisoners are on death row in Vietnam.