Kenya steps closer to abolishing the mandatory death penalty

04.03.16 | |

The Supreme Court of Kenya this week heard submissions on the constitutionality of the mandatory death penalty. If favourable, its decision is likely to affect all prisoners currently on death row (over 2,000), and possibly thousands more whose mandatory death sentences were commuted to full life sentences in 2009. Most of these prisoners were convicted of robbery with violence, an offence that can be committed even if the victim suffered no injury.


Joe Middleton addressed the Supreme Court on behalf of the Death Penalty Project, which had been admitted to the case as an “amicus curiae” (friend of the court). He has worked with the Death Penalty Project on  similar challenges in Malawi, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania. The Supreme Court of Kenya is likely to give judgment in the next month or two.

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