UGANDA: FIVE DEATH ROW INMATES PARDONED
November 13, 2009: five inmates waiting to be hanged for more than 20 years were released by Luzira Prison authorities in Uganda after the Supreme Court ruling in January stating executions must be commuted to life imprisonment if not carried out in three years. Life imprisonment in Uganda translates to serving 20 years in prison.
The prisonâ€™s spokesman, Frank Baine, said while this had raised a lot of excitement among the inmates, hanging of condemned inmates is still legal and can be effected anytime.
â€śIf the Government adheres to the ruling of the Supreme Court, executions will be more frequent compared to the past,â€ť Baine said. Hajji Mohammed Birikkadde Kasoozi was sentenced to death in 1982 for kidnapping, Fred Tindigwihuura was convicted in Hoima in 1987. Two others were identified as Isaiah Bikumu and Ben Ogwang Simba. Yowana Serunkuma, who was convicted for robbery, also qualified to be released but was kept in prison because he once attempted to escape. (Sources: New Vision, 15/11/2009)