Mobile death chambers take capital punishment on the road

China is innovating in the market of death with a fleet of execution buses in which convicts are efficiently and cleanly put to death by lethal injection.

The mobile death chamber means executions can be ordered and carried out by courts in towns and villages around a particular province, with executioners and medical staff shuttling between different jurisdictions. Authorities say the initiative is a deterrent against crime.

"First, we established there was demand for execution vehicles. Then we designed the vehicles and applied to the government for certification. This procedure is a must," said Mr Zhang, from the marketing department of Jinguan Auto – a Chongqing-based maker of ambulances, police lorries, bulletproof shields and armour-plated limos. Mr Zhang, who did not wish to give his first name, said the execution bus is a refitted 17-seater minibus which is seven metres long. So far the company had sold 10 of the vehicles.

Viewed in the online catalogue, the bus looks innocuous enough from the outside. Mr Zhang explained how criminals are tied hand and foot to a stretcher at the back, then injected with a cocktail of lethal toxins. The bus also features a video monitoring system, to ensure that executions comply with state rules, he explained.

The execution bus also makes it easier to use organs from prisoners for transplants, with doctors and nurses on hand to make sure they are transferred swiftly. This practice has been attacked as inhumane, although the Chinese government insists it takes place with the permission of the donors and their families.

China executes more prisoners than any other country, and non-violent crimes such as corruption and tax fraud, as well as the traditional capital offences such as murder, are among 68 crimes that carry the death penalty.

Before creation of the buses, the condemned were executed by being shot in the back of the head, but executioners were often forced to wear rubber boots, because of the large amount of blood involved in shootings, and occasionally prisoners had to be shot several times before finally dying.

One reason why executioners wanted a different method was because many of those killed were drug traffickers, and were said to have HIV/Aids. Executioners said they were worried they would become infected by spraying blood.

"Lethal injection reduces the pain and fear of the condemned. It is a more humane way to die," Mou Ruijin, associate professor of the Law School of Northeast University, told the Xinhua news agency after the province of Liaoning became the latest to switch to lethal injections.

The makers of the van say sales are steady, and urge any foreign governments interested to get in touch.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Tax Manager / Accountant

£35 - £50k DOE: Guru Careers: A Tax Manager / Accountant (ACA / CA / CTA) is n...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketing Operative

£6 - £15 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a well e...

Recruitment Genius: Data Scientist

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Full Stack Software Developer - Javascript

£18000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen