Thailand's Justice Ministry says it has no plan to execute rapists who murder their victims, saying such a harsh penalty would provoke more rapists to kill.

The ministry's third-ranking official, Tawatchai Thaikyo, posted the comments Monday on his Facebook page amid growing outrage over the suspected rape and murder of a 27-year-old teacher, whose alleged attacker was a convicted rapist who lived in her apartment building.

Capital punishment is legal in Thailand for 35 different crimes, including drug offenses, terrorism, national security crimes, murder and fatal rapes. But in practice, the death penalty is rarely used. The last execution was carried out in 2009 for two drug traffickers.

The latest case, however, has prompted calls for harsher penalties for all rape cases and particularly for fatal rapes.