MOUNT KENYA UNIVERSITY
CRIMINAL LAW II
8TH JULY 2012
1. ANTHONY GACHERU
2. DANIEL MUIRURI
Crimes that carry the death sentences
Under Kenyan law, offences of murder, treason and robbery with violence, including attempted robbery with violence, carry a mandatory death sentence3. In this paper, the National Commission seeks to demonstrate the urgent need for the abolition of the death penalty from Kenya’s statutes. This is because the death, penalty is a violation of the fundamental right to life. The death penalty
The death penalty entails the taking away of a person’s life after conviction on a capital offence by a competent court. This form of punishment has existed in almost all civilizations although the modes of its execution have varied from country to country. Common methods of execution that have been employed include crucifixion, drowning, stoning to death, burning or boiling alive, hanging and beheading, electrocution, shooting and use of lethal injection.
An early example of enforcement of the death penalty dates as far back as the 5th Century B.C. in Roman law. The first formal laws on the death penalty were, however, not established until the 18th Century. Britain through European settlers influenced the use of the death penalty in jurisdictions such as the United States and colonial Africa. Although in pre-colonial Africa the death penalty was also used as a form of punishment, it was reserved for the most serious offences. Its application, however, varied in time and space and depended on what a particular Community considered a serious offence punishable by death. There was no uniformity or rescribed method of determining which crimes were punishable Many people support the death penalty despite the fact that it is considered to be inhumane. It is said that the death penalty can be used as a deterrent to crime; however this has been proved untrue in many cases. “The death penalty is not a deterrent and should be abolished”,said Anyang’ Nyong’o,
In a country like Kenya although the death sentence is still used, thousands of people have not been put to death since 1987 when the last official executions were carried out. This was during Daniel Arap Moi’s time when many people were hanged after being accused of planning the attempted coup on August 1st, 1982. Although the death penalty may provide closure for families of victims, in Kenya numerous innocent people have had to suffer persecution due to bad judgment by the juries and courts. For many, prison has become a way of life not knowing when or if they’ll be called to their deaths. It is a very argumentative topic as many feel that the death penalty is what will do justice for many victims of violent crimes, however, many executioners have to live with the fact that executing someone is murder in itself despite the reasons. In Kenya, from the years 2001 to 2005, 3741 people were sentenced to be hanged. In 2003 President Kibaki was said to have commuted the death sentences of about 223 inmates. Death penalty inmates in Kenya are not allowed to work; hence they do not acquire any skills that would be helpful if they ever managed to get released from prison. Although there have been many talks about the abolishment of capital punishment in Kenya, nothing has been done yet. Many people feel it would be more appropriate to rehabilitate inmates rather than kill them Since 1987, no death sentence has been enforced in Kenya. Although there is no statistical evidence of wrongful execution of innocent persons before 1987, it does not imply none was ever committed. Going by the number of reversed court decisions on appeal, it is highly likely that a number of people might have been wrongly executed due to a flawed justice system or lack of fair trial. In Sawe vRepublic
the appellant was convicted in the High Court for the murder of herhusband and sentenced to...
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