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Vietnamese death row prisoner escapes the chop

By getting pregnant

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A convicted Vietnamese heroin trafficker has avoided an appointment with the firing squad - by getting pregnant while on death row.

Thirty-nine-year-old Nguyen Thi Oanh was found guilty of possessing more than one billion dong ($63,000) of heroin, the BBC reports. An appeal against a death sentence had failed, and she was being held in solitary confinement pending execution later this year.

Rather splendidly, though, she managed to get up the duff while in chokey as a result of a liason with "a fellow prisoner who delivered food to the prisoners on death row". She's now 11 weeks pregnant and can't be executed under Vietnamese law; her sentence must be converted to life imprisonment.

How she pulled off the impregnation without getting caught in the act is revealed by a newspaper run by the country's police ministry which explained "two prison guards had been thrown out of the police force for 'abusing their power' in allowing the fellow inmate to remain in the woman's cell".

Unsurprisingly, the mum-to-be's lawyer, Le Van Kien, said it was the "first time a prisoner on death row had become pregnant". ®

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