Lift death row penalty, says ICJ

Lift death row penalty, says ICJ

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) wants the government to lift the death sentence arguing that it violates a person’s right to life.

During a meeting with death row inmates and prison heads held at the Kamiti Maximum Prison, ICJ argued that hanging is not the best way to rehabilitate prisoners.

“Death row does not in any way rehabilitate someone who has made a mistake in his or her past,” said Silas Kamanza, Programs Officer at ICJ. “It just tortures them, both psychologically and physically. In addiction to this, it violates their right to life which is against the Kenyan constitution.”

Peter Kehia Mwaniki, who has been waiting for the hangman for the past 16 years at Kamiti prison said that he has trouble sleeping as he knows not the day or the time.

“I have been here since 2001 when I was sentenced to death. When you know you are going to die, you can’t even sleep at night, all you think about is your death and the anxiety of not knowing when it will happen,” he said.

Mr. Mwaniki, currently a law student at the prison university was found guilty of robbery with violence and murder.

If the death penalty was raised, he feels that it would give him a second chance to make Kenya better.

David Munyui is another inmate who has been at Kamiti for the last two years. He was sentenced to death after being “framed for murder.”

“I was framed for murder simply because I was the last person to be seen with the deceased. I was sentenced to death and right now, I have left my fate to God. There’s little more I can do,” Munyui said.

Kamanza said that most of the inmates on death row either don’t have the money to hire a competent lawyer to allow them to access a fair hearing in court or they never make it to trial due to the rampant corruption in the country.


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Story By Fridah Wangeci
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