Analysis of the legality and impact of the death penalty in Kenya

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Kampala International University, School of Law
The death penalty is associated with two fundamental human rights; the right to life and the protection against cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. This research sought to establish whether the death penalty as practiced in Kenya conforms to comparative and international human rights norms. It analyzed the legality of death penalty in Kenya with respect to the right to life and its impact. The research was historical and was also based on the reports and views of various scholars. The major findings revealed that the death penalty is inhuman and degrading punishment that is unacceptable both under international law and the domestic legislation in Kenya since it offends the concept and the law on human rights and is inconsistent with the contemporary trends in international criminal law. It is further manifested that the death penalty is not a deterrent since murderers do not usually reflect much on the consequences of their actions before acting. Also, that mandatory death sentencing is antithetical to the constitutional provisions on protection against inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and fair trial. The major conclusion in this research was that the death penalty is not in consonance with the letter and spirit of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The research recommended the need for Kenya to formalize its de facto moratorium by adopting a de jure moratorium. In addition, legislative amendments are needed to suppress mandatory death sentences and broaden the restriction on the imposition of the death penalty on the persons with a mental deficiency, while addressing social and structural conditions of society to reduce violent crimes.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Bachelor of laws of Kampala International University
Legality, Death penalty, Kenya