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Kenya takes death penalty debate to the people

Nairobi – The second and final leg of the Kenyan national public debate on capital punishment has begun.

The debate is to solicit views from Kenyans on the administration of capital punishment and management of capital offences.

The public discussion, which is being spearheaded by the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (POMAC) and National Crime Research Centre (NCRC), will be conducted in 28 counties countrywide, within the next two months.

The debate provides a platform for Kenyans to express their opinions on capital offences and what form of punishment capital offenders should be subjected to.

According to the Kenyan law, five types of offences attract capital punishment. These are: murder, treason, and robbery with violence, attempted robbery with violence and oathing with intent to commit a felony.

After the debate, the committee will document findings of the public views and make appropriate recommendations.

The first public dialogue took place in June in the first 19 counties.

In 2009, former President Mwai Kibaki commuted the sentences of all those on death row to life imprisonment. The decision affected over 4,000 prisoners and at the time was said to be one of the largest commutation of death sentences anywhere in the world.

According to the Kenya Prisons Act, executions are to be carried out by hanging. The last hanging in Kenya took place in 1987 after the plotters of the August 1982 coup attempt were sentenced to death.



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