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KENYA: HIGH COURT FINDS MANDATORY DEATH SENTENCE UNCONSTITUTIONAL

September 24, 2016: The High Court in Kenya has ruled that the mandatory death sentence in relation to capital offence is unconstitutional.
A petition was filed by APP law student, Wilson Kinyua, and 11 other death row prisoners serving their sentences at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, challenging conflicting sentences given to similar offences resulting in a breach of their right to be treated equally.
In a landmark judgement delivered on 15 September 2016, it was ruled that sections of the law do not meet the constitutional threshold of setting out precise and distinct differentiating degrees of aggravation of the offence of robbery and attempted robbery to adequately answer to charges and to prepare a defence.
The petitioners, led by Wilson, argued that for the death sentence to apply one should first have the opportunity to defend oneself following the case hearing through the process of mitigation.
The favourable ruling means that mitigating factors and other pre-sentencing requirements have to be received and considered by the courts in order for a fair trial to take place – abolishing the mandatory death sentence currently prescribed for a capital offence.
The court, however, did not rule in favour of the abolition of the death sentence across the board stating that “the death sentence is not a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. However, it just cannot be meted to any person convicted of a capital offence.” This was clearly a disappointing outcome for Wilson et al, however, extraordinary steps have been made to change the law in such a way that the positive impact will be felt throughout the prison community.
The judgement has also been suspended for 18 months in order for the law to be reviewed for the inconsistencies found and amended accordingly, a ruling that the petitioners wish to challenge, calling for an immediate resolution to their cases. (Sources: africanprisons.org, 24/09/2016)

IRAN: MAN ARRESTED TWO WEEKS AGO HANGED IN PUBLIC
IRAN: EIGHT PRISONERS INCLUDING WOMAN EXECUTED ON DRUG CHARGES
SAUDI ARABIA: THREE PRISONERS EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING, MURDER
INDONESIA: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER GANG RAPE
DEATH PENALTY UPHELD FOR CHINA ARSONIST
IRAN: EIGHT PRISONERS EXECUTED ON MURDER AND MOHAREBEH CHARGES
PAKISTAN: SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY FOR MENTALLY ILL MAN
IRAN: SEVEN PRISONERS HANGED FOR DRUG RELATED OFFENSES
SAUDI ARABIA: ETHIOPIAN EXECUTED FOR MURDERING A CHILD
LEBANON: MILITARY COURT SENTENCES MAWLAWI, MANSOUR TO DEATH
IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN CALLS FOR THE RELEASE OF THE ACTIVIST NARGES MOHAMMADI
VIETNAM: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
SUDAN: COURT CONDEMNS 18 TRIBESMEN TO DEATH
IRAN: FIVE EXECUTED ON DRUG CHARGES
EGYPT: 7 PEOPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR POLICEMAN KILLING
MALAYSIA: CANNY ONG'S MURDERER HANGED
SOUTH SUDAN: DOZENS OF SOLDIERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED IN PUBLIC AT FOOTBALL STADIUM
FIELD POLL: CALIFORNIA DEATH PENALTY REPEAL LEADS
CHINA: FORMER FUJIAN VICE GOVERNOR STANDS TRIAL FOR GRAFT
CHINESE PREMIER LI KEQIANG DEFENDS USE OF DEATH PENALTY
VIETNAM: 9 SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR HEROIN TRAFFICKING
SUDAN: TRIAL TO RESUME FOR CHRISTIAN PASTORS WHO COULD FACE DEATH PENALTY
JAPAN: BAR FEDERATION TARGETS ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY FOR 1ST TIME
SIERRA LEONE TO REINTRODUCE DEATH PENALTY AS VIOLENT CRIMES SPIKE
INDIA: SUPREME COURT MOVES AWAY FROM DEATH PENALTY
PAKISTAN STAYS EXECUTION OF MENTALLY ILL MAN
IRAN: PRISONER EXECUTED ON DRUG RELATED CHARGES
NIGERIA: MAN WHO MURDERED WIFE SENTENCED TO DEATH IN JIGAWA STATE
IRAN: THREE PRISONERS HANGED AT SHIRAZ'S ADEL ABAD PRISON

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IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK  
  SOMALIA - DEATH PENALTY AND TERRORISM  
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