MALAWI: TWO PRISONERS REMOVED FROM DEATH ROW
April 30, 2015: After many years of delay, the Courts in Malawi have been conducting sentencing hearings in the cases of prisoners who received mandatory death sentences prior to the landmark High Court ruling in 2007 which struck down the mandatory death penalty.
Since February 2015, the courts have heard 29 cases of the 192 prisoners now entitled to re-sentencing hearings. These prisoners had already been commuted to life imprisonment but were still entitled to have their case considered based on their individual circumstances. 12 of these prisoners have been released and five others have received determinate sentences.
The first two cases for prisoners who remained on death row were decided on 27 April 2015. Aron John and Tony Thobowa's death sentences were set aside and each was re-sentenced to 24 years imprisonment (from the date of their arrest), and they are likely to be released in four years' time. (Sources: The Death Penalty Project, 30/04/2015)