Abolition of death penalty and its implications for the justice system in South Sudan

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Kampala International University
Death penalty is a recognized punishment for a number of crimes in South Sudan Criminal Justice System. European Union under the umbrella of International Community, calls for moratorium or abolition of death penalty by the President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit, without due consideration of law making process in South Sudan and views of South Sudanese people. The main objective of the study is to determine the implications of abolition of death penalty in the criminal justice system in South Sudan. In this dissertation I argue that the facts on ground does not support or permit moratorium or abolition of death penalty. The researcher considered the concepts of capital punishment, history and religious views, discussing the legal dimensions on death penalty and finding out law governing the death penalty in South Sudan and exposition of issues. It was found out that innocent people are subjected to death penalty on the basis of corruption and it begins from investigation up to judgment, lack of a fair trial and lack of Independence Judiciary. Most of victims of death penalty are innocent and from poor families. The conflicts of laws are seen under the Constitution, Penal Code Act and Customary Laws. The majority of the masses in South Sudan still support the retention of death penalty. In most decentralized societies of “Nilotic” mainly Dinkas “Jieng” and others like Nuer the practice is Mosaic Laws (the Law of Moses) of Old Testament which says ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth’. In any case of abolition it means taking the law back to the hands of communities which may lead to injustice, instability and insecurity. Although the practice of death penalty was imported from Common Law, customarily, Nilotics used blood compensation (Apuk) which is usually paid by cows; today it is still popular among Nilotics. More education should be encouraged because the well-informed people will hold better quality opinions. Governments must ensure that citizens base their views regarding the death penalty on a rational and properly informed assessment. Governments should lead, not follow or hide behind public opinion. Communication channels should be improved because it is clear that the quality of public opinion depends to a large extent on the availability and flexibility of the agencies of public communication, such as the press (newspapers, radio, or television), and public meetings it is further recommended that Courts should take every opportunity to explain the system of judicial review and the independence of the judiciary and also interpret laws on death penalty to find out who it applies to. There ought to be a concerted effort to persuade the public about the importance of judicial independence and impartiality. Courts should fight corruption and administer justice impartially. Judges should undergo further training so that they can realize their roles in administration of justice. Invest in the capacity of courts, and ensure they are properly staffed and have sufficient means to meet the high demand for cases. This includes also the training and vetting of judges and legal personnel. Invest in the capacity of police and administrative services for judiciary. The NGO and National Civil Society organizations should support legal aid programmes and the government in developing a detailed justice reform. The government should review national laws to make them in conformity with the international laws and ratify international human rights instruments
A dissertation submitted to the college of higher degrees and research of Kampala International University in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the degree of master of laws of Kampala International University.
South Sudan, Death Penalty, Criminal Law, Drug Abuse, Nicotics, South Sudan Criminal Justice System