Vo Van Ba had been sentenced to death for rape and murder in 1977, but broke out of prison on 3 October, 1980, while awaiting his execution.

He would spend the next 42 years evading authorities as he moved between the southern provinces of Vietnam, even changing his name, getting married and having a child in the more than four decades he spent outside of prison.

Police attempts to track down the escaped Death Row inmate were unsuccessful for more than 42 years before he was finally recaptured.

Despite his decades-long avoidance of the authorities he was not able to spend the rest of his life outside of jail and his past finally caught up to him.

According to reports, the Death Row fugitive was finally arrested on 16 December after police were finally able to track him down.

Vo Van Ba said he had spent most of his time after escaping Death Row living in Vietnam’s Ca Mau province, just a few hours drive away from the prison he had been set to be executed in.

He changed his name to Nguyen Van Tu and started a new life, beginning a family and eventually working at a brick kiln.

The police have not yet released details on exactly how they were finally able to track down and apprehend the Death Row inmate.

Vietnam’s policy towards the death penalty is a controversial one, as the country is one of the most prolific executioners of prisoners in the world.

The exact number of prisoners they execute is unknown as Vietnamese officials do not provide official figures, but human rights advocacy groups believe they are only behind China and Iran when it comes to numbers of inmates put to death.

There are a number of crimes in Vietnam which carry the death penalty, including serious drug-related offences.

Earlier this year two people were sentenced to death for holding drug-fuelled raves in a psychiatric hospital, with a patient receiving treatment in the Hanoi-based facility able to have a DJ table, strobe lights and loudspeakers installed in his room.

He was able to do this after making friends with the guards, with the soundproofing in his room and guards willing to turn a blind eye allowing the raves to go ahead.

However, they were eventually caught in a police raid and Nguyen Xuan Quy and Nguyen Van Ngoc received the death penalty for their part in the raves, while others involved will spend the rest of their life in prison.

Original Article