Judiciary wants the dead sentence scrapped off
Written by Obwoge Joseph on October 24, 2023
The death sentence was first passed into law in Kenya during the colonial era, under British rule. It continued to be implemented even after Kenya gained independence in 1963. However, since then, there have been discussions and debates regarding the retention or abolition of the death penalty in Kenya.
The reason why the judiciary and other stakeholders are advocating for the scrapping of the death penalty in Kenya is based on several factors. Here are a few key reasons:
1. Human rights concerns: Many argue that the death penalty violates the right to life, which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They believe that every individual has the right to life and that capital punishment undermines this fundamental right.
2. Irreversible errors: The judiciary recognizes that the criminal justice system is not perfect and that mistakes can be made. The death penalty is irreversible, and if someone is wrongly convicted and executed, there is no way to rectify the error. This concern is particularly important considering that wrongful convictions have occurred in the past.
3. Ineffectiveness as a deterrent: Critics of the death penalty argue that it fails to act as an effective deterrent to crime. They suggest that studies have not conclusively proven that capital punishment deters individuals from committing serious crimes, and alternative methods of criminal punishment might be more impactful.
4. International trends: Many countries around the world have abolished the death penalty or have placed a moratorium on its use. Kenya may want to align itself with these global movements and demonstrate its commitment to human rights and international standards.
However, it’s important to note that the opinions on the death penalty in Kenya are varied, and there are arguments in favor of retaining it as well. Ultimately, the decision to either scrap or retain the death penalty lies in the hands of the Kenyan government and its judicial system.