Suspension for detainees because the court overturned the law - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Suspension for detainees because the court overturned the law

Robbery with violent convicts has reason to smile after the High Court overturned part of the law prohibiting them from getting remission.

Judge George Odunga, who sat in Machakos, also said prisoners with definite sentences and those jailed for the President's pleasure were also entitled to remission.

Remission is a reduction in the term of imprisonment, usually due to good behavior, extraordinary reward, poor health or other special reasons.

In the decision, Judge Odunga said to maintain that those convicted of violations under article 296 (2) of the Criminal Code were not entitled to remission presupposing that the perpetrators were unable to carry out reforms.

The judge said the dignity of the person was ignored if he was denied the remission available to others who served similar sentences, only on the irrational assumption that he was unable to carry out reforms.

"It fails to consider the diverse character of the convicts, and the circumstances of the crime, but instead makes them the same punishment (obligatory) by treating them as masses that are no different, violating their right to dignity," the judge said. In this case, five robberies with violent convicts - Sammy Musembi Mbugua, Nicholas Mukila Ndetei, Sammy Kitonga Mukusya, John Muoki Mbatha and Paul Mumo Muia - served sentences ranging from 15 to 40 years, challenging parts of the Prison Act on the grounds that it was contradicting. Article 27 of the Constitution.

They argue that they have the right to equality before the law and the government should not discriminate against them.

According to the convicts, remission makes a prisoner want self-improvement and basically puts their fate in their own hands. They say such a system allows prisoners to take over their lives and develop a sense of responsibility, and provide incentives to serve someone's time productively, with a mindset for moving forward.

Because no remission was given to a prisoner who was sentenced to life imprisonment or because of violations under section 296 (2) of the Criminal Code, the offender was treated unfairly.

They told the court that the Attorney General had not released information on grounds to deny their right to remission.

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