Crime & Investigation

Death Row Inmates Want Sentence Lifted


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capsule geneva;”> web geneva;”>All the inmates who appeared at Court had spent an average of 15 years in prison and were appearing in court following the ruling of the Supreme Court in 2009.

more about geneva;”>Currently, there are 420 convicts on death row in Uganda’s prisons, the Uganda Prisons Service revealed.

Susan Kigula and 417 death row convicts in 2009 filed a petition in the Constitutional Court challenging the constitutionality of the death sentence.

The convicts said that the laws that prescribed the death sentence as the maximum punishment for capital offences contravened several constitutional articles.

They also said that the delay for the actual execution to take place after the sentence contravened provisions of the country’s supreme law, adding that the Trial on Indictments Act which provides for hanging as the legal mode of carrying out the death sentence, was cruel, inhuman and degrading and contravened the constitution.

The Supreme Court ruled that death penalty was no longer mandatory but it did not stop courts from imposing it.

The last time Uganda killed convicts by hanging under the current regime was in 1999 when 29 death row inmates were murdered.

The prisons Spokesperson, Frank Baine, told the media that there were over 600 death row convicts in prisons before the Supreme Court ruling.

However, some of them had their sentences reduced to life imprisonment after the ruling.

In September, Parliament granted two MPs permission to draft a Private Members’ Bill seeking to abolish mandatory death penalty against capital offenders.

This was after MPs Alice Alaso (Serere Woman MP) seconded by West Budama North MP Fox Odoi, argued that the existing laws are outdated and contain several provisions which prescribe either mandatory or discriminatory death penalties upon conviction.

They proposed that such laws be replaced with life imprisonment.


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