Power of Mercy team resumes county tours

Power of Mercy Advisory Committee vicechair Regina Boisabi, deputy commissioner general in charge of Nairobi West prison Murithi Githaiga and CEO Michael Kagika at the prison on August 18/JOSEPH NDUNDA
Power of Mercy Advisory Committee vicechair Regina Boisabi, deputy commissioner general in charge of Nairobi West prison Murithi Githaiga and CEO Michael Kagika at the prison on August 18/JOSEPH NDUNDA

The Power of Mercy Advisory Committee will tomorrow resume public debates over the death penalty in 28 counties.

The committee is soliciting views on the administration of capital punishment. Pomac will be seeking public opinion on offences which constitute capital crime, alternative punishment and length of life sentence.

“The debate provides a platform to express opinions on capital offences and what form of punishment capital offenders should be subjected to,” CEO Michael Kagika said.

“From the debates, Pomac will document findings and make appropriate recommendations.”

There are five classifications of capital offenses which attract the death penalty. They include murder, treason, robbery with violence, attempted robbery with violence and oathing for criminal activities by proscribed groups, including terrorist outfits. They are punishable by death sentence only upon conviction.

Pomac will be seeking public input on whether death sentence should be abolished.

“There are approximately 3,000 convicts who have been handed the death sentence. Out of this number, only 300 criminal offenders have gone through the appeal process and can be said to be on death row,” Kagika said.

Pomac has visited 19 counties since June. Many Kenyans want the death sentence abolished and life imprisonment reviewed.

Kagika said the public discussions spearheaded by Pomac and the National Crime Research Centre will be held until November.

The agency is partnering with the Kenya Prisons Service, office of the Director of Public Prosecution and the Judiciary. Counties to be visted include Kiambu, Garissa,Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Nyeri and Samburu. Others are Elgeyo Marakwet, Kitui, Machakos and Makueni.

Kagika said the committee is encouraging church and faith-based organisations, women, youth, village elders, media, civil society and people living with disability to attend the hearings to give their views.