Kenyan authorities call for public opinion in their plan to scrap the death penalty

14th April 2015 Kenyan authorities have requested public opinion as they work to scrap the death penalty.

The call was made by the Attorney-General of the country Githu Muigai, during the launch of Power of Mercy Advisory Committee strategic plan for 2015-2018 in Nairobi. The Attorney General mentioned that Kenya has not executed a single criminal on death row in thirty years and is in the process of formulating alternative punishment for capital offences, with Kenyans to have the final say in what form of punishment capital offenders should face.

Prof Muigai is quoted as saying “We want to open dialogue on what Kenyans want and for this reason, I’m directing Pomac to begin a process to bring stakeholders together and open the debate. We want to have an open dialogue where Kenyans can give direction on the death sentence debate. The government cannot prejudge what people want on this. What I can confirm is that Kenya has not executed any convict since 1986”

Prof Muigai also said the government was under obligation to review its human rights records and directed the mercy committee to engage Kenyans on how crimes that attract the death penalty should be handled.

In 2013, Professor Muigai represented Kenya at a committee meeting at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at Palais Wilson in Geneva. At the meeting, Kenya was taken to task over specific cases in which the country was seen to have failed to uphold the principles of the Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The move by the government is to comply with the United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights on the death sentence, following Kenya’s commitment to comply with the commission.

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