Commenting after the Kenyan Supreme Court declared mandatory death sentencing unconstitutional, Oluwatosin Popoola, Amnesty International’s Adviser on the Death Penalty, said:
“This landmark judgment is a significant step towards complete abolition of the ultimate cruel and inhumane form of punishment.
“It’s now time for the Kenyan authorities to take the required legal steps to abolish the death penalty fully and join the 105 countries that have completely consigned the punishment to history.”
The judgement was handed down following an application by two men who have been on death row for the last 14 years. It in effect means judges now have discretion and will no longer automatically sentence to death people convicted of murder or armed robbery – the only two crimes that still attract the death penalty in Kenya.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases and under any circumstances, regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.