Prolonged Delays in the Prosecution of Offenders in the Defilement Cases and Overcrowding in Ugandan Prisons: the Case of Lira Central Prison

Topics: Prison, Criminal justice, Criminal law Pages: 24 (8171 words) Published: May 12, 2012


1.0 Introduction
This chapter introduces the reader to the topic of interest and lays out the ground for the reader to appreciate the importance of this study. It begins with an analysis of the background of the study which gives the reader a historical perspective on the development of criminal justice system the world over as well as within the Ugandan domain. It proceeds with defining the study problem in the form of a problem statement specifying the study objectives and the related research questions, prescribing the purpose of the study and demarcating the scope of the study in both technical and geographical parameters. Whenever one talks about justices in general and about criminal justice in particular, one cannot help flashing back to the time of Adam and Eve when children of the first couple got embroiled in a dispute which ended with one of them tricking his brother and murdering him (Genesis 4 : 8). The murder of Abel by his elder brother Cain as narrated in Genesis chapter four renders a vivid account of how God dealt with the first crime and criminal and how he dispensed justice in such a manner that Cain was still granted right of appeal even though his action was extremely horrendous. God first called upon Cain to account for the whereabouts of his brother and upon getting a callous response proceeded to show Cain evidence that he had murdered his own brother and as a result, his brothers blood was crying out to Him for justice. He thereafter convicted Cain to an appropriate sentence which Cain appealed right away and God moderated his sentence to exclude his own possible death at the hands of strangers (Genesis 4: 15). One can therefore say with certainty as Salmon (1996) asserts in his account of the historical perspective about the development of justice system that the origin and growth of the criminal justice system as we know of it today is as old as mankind itself and is akin to the origin and development of man. Salmon argues that the social nature of man demands that he must live in society. While doing so, he cannot avoid experiencing conflict with fellow men adding that the inevitability of conflict creates the necessity for providing for a system through which justice can be administered to the conflicting parties. He classifies his perspective into three important modes: In the first mode, man experiences the need for personal vengeance which tempts everybody to carry on with his life as well as carry the means to protect and defend his interests all alone. This tends to tempt people into carrying the law in their own hands. He further says that men behave like a famished wolf trying to devour others in self preservation. His argument is fortified by the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) who says men tends to be made into vengeance by the slogan “kill whoever you can and take whatever you can”. Man therefore tends to be ready to be attacked at any time and to resist and overpower his opponent. In this mode, every man tends to be a judge in his own cause and his own might tends to be the sole...

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