Kenya set to replace death penalty with life imprisonment

Thursday, February 9th, 2023 07:20 | By
Prisoners under lock and key. Photo/PD/FILE
Prisoners. Photo/PD/FILE

Kenya will abolish death sentence for capital offences and replace it with life imprisonment if an amendment to the law is enacted.

The Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Ugunja MP and the Leader of Minority Party Opiyo Wandayi, seeks to substitute death sentence for four offences - treason, murder, robbery with violence, and attempted robbery with violence - with life imprisonment, upon conviction.

Wandayi, who wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetang’ula requesting for approval of the Bill, said the death row convicts to amend the Penal Code.

There are over 600 death row convicts in whose fate lies in the hands of the parliamentarians who are expected to push for this amendment to the law.

The sections to be deleted include 40(3) (treason), 60 (Administration of unlawful oaths to commit capital offences), 204 (murder), 296(2) (robbery with violence), and 297(2) (attempted robbery with violence).

The Bill will in effect delete each section in which the words ‘sentenced to death’ appear while replacing the same with the words ‘life imprisonment’ in the Penal Code.

“These inmates live each day waiting for the hangman, a most cruel and torturous life. The death penalty not only deprives the prisoner of all vestiges of human dignity, it’s the desecration of the individual as a human being, it is the annihilation of the very essence of human dignity,” he said.

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