The debacle of Thailand’s April election has hit some people very hard. Not the government which claimed victory with over 50 percent of the vote. And not the boycotting opposition parties that claimed a moral victory with a no-vote of around 30 percent. But the three Election Commission members sentenced on Tuesday to 4 years in prison for mishandling the April 2 election have been hit very hard. They may well be regretting the day they became involved in Thailand’s messy public administration. I am in no position to comment on the rights and wrongs of their case, and there certainly are widespread concerns about some aspects of the conduct of the snap election, but a 4 year prison term seems very harsh indeed. There is widespread violation and manipulation of electoral laws by all parties in Thailand and a strong message from the criminal court about the importance of electoral integrity is desirable. But 4 years in prison? For mismanagement of an election that was sabotaged from the outset! And where the vote wasn’t even close! Seems excessive to me.