Act on Death Row inmates dilemma now
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.