Pregnant Brit Avoids Execution

The verdict for Samantha Orobator was harsh, but not as harsh as it could have been. A Lao court sentenced the 20-year-old British woman—who became pregnant while incarcerated—to life in prison today for heroin trafficking. The crime is punishable by death in Laos, but Orobator was spared thanks to a Lao law banning the execution of pregnant women. Orobator had been locked up since August 2008, but her case attracted wide attention last month after the British legal charity Reprieve publicized her plight and the possibility that she could be killed by firing squad if convicted. The Briton and her state-appointed lawyer have three weeks to decide whether to appeal or apply for repatriation.