Act on Death Row in­mates dilemma now

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices -

Some of the 300 Death Row con­victs in Gov­ern­ment of Kenya Pris­ons want to be killed by the state (see story page 16). They want Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta to sign their death war­rants or com­mute their sen­tences to life im­pris­on­ment.

Speak­ing of the pris­ons he has vis­ited, the Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Or­der Case Com­mit­tee chair­man, Judge Luka Ki­maru, con­firms Death Row con­victs say they want to die.

Ki­maru also ob­serves that killing them in it­self does not ex­e­cute a death war­rant, only the Pres­i­dent can – or not – as it his pre­rog­a­tive.

The last Death Row con­vict ex­e­cuted in Kenya was dis­patched on July 9, 1987. No Pres­i­dent of Kenya has signed a death war­rant since then, and there have been three in of­fice in this in­ter­reg­num.

The in­mates have a point. When the Na­tional As­sem­bly will not abol­ish the death sen­tence and the pres­i­dents will not sign war­rants for what­ever rea­son – Moi, Kibaki and Keny­atta are all de­vout Chris­tians – the sen­tences should be com­muted to life be­hind bars.

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