Supreme Court to decide on legality of the death penalty

Thursday December 14 2017

Supreme Court judges.

Supreme Court judges on November 16, 2017 during proceedings of the presidential election petition. The Court will on December 14, 2017 deliver a judgment on the constitutionality of the death sentence. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The Supreme Court will on Thursday deliver a judgment on the constitutionality of the death sentence.

Death row convicts Francis Karioko Muruatetu and Wilson Thirimbu Mwangi, who have been in jail for the last 14 years since 2003, had filed the case at the apex court while seeking that the mandatory death penalty should be scrapped from the Kenyan law.


The duo were convicted alongside five other suspects, including the wife of former Lands Commissioner Wilson Gachanja, for the grisly murder of businessman Lawrence Githinji Magondu.

As of December 2010, 139 countries out of 197 under the UN had abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

The decision to be delivered is expected to be a landmark one.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists Kenyan chapter, Legal Resources Foundation, Katiba Institute and the Death Penalty Project are listed as amicus in the case.


Notably, in Kenya, there have been no executions since 1987 for accused persons sentenced to death.

Those sentenced to death are to serve a lifelong jail term unless pardoned by the President.

Murder and robbery with violence attract the death penalty in the Kenyan criminal law.