The task force reviewing the death penalty has recommended amendment to the law to abolish it. If adopted, 838 prisoners on death row will have their sentences commuted to life sentences, among other changes.
The recommendations by the Task Force on the Review of the Mandatory Nature of the Death Penalty will be celebrated by many abolitionists locally, who classify execution as cruel and inhumane punishment.
Moreover, the Kenya Constitution prohibits inhumane treatment and torture, which execution of human beings is.
It will be celebrated by Christians who believe life is a precious gift from God, who alone can take it away. Any willful execution is abhorrent and vengeful.
Kenya is among a minority of 58 countries that still have the death penalty in their lawbooks, despite execution not having been carried out for long. According to Amnesty International, 23 countries executed at least 993 convicts in 2017, a drop of 1,032 in 2016, and 1,634 in 2015.
While it is believed that the existence of the death sentence is a deterrent to egregious crimes — such as robbery with violence, rape, murder and treason — there is no evidence in trends to support the position.
Rather, there is evidence that human beings are often contrite and remorseful for their crimes after prolonged jail terms and can reform given another chance.
It is now up to Parliament to decide.
Quote of the Day: “I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.”
The 11th President of the Philippines (1986-92) died on August 1, 2009.