•Judge says plea bargaining saves court time of going through a lot of evidence to prove guilt
•In the bargain, Karisa said he was coerced into committing crime
A self-confessed murderer has been sentenced to eight in years in prison.
Judge Erick Ogola handed Ngira Karisa the lenient jail term due to a plea bargaining agreement.
Karisa had pleaded guilty to murdering Mombasa businessman Isaack Kassim on March 8 last year.
In his judgement, Ogola said the accused was remorseful and that is why he confessed to his wrongdoing.
The resident judge said he arrived at the decision as one of the benefits of plea bargaining.
“It is court’s responsibility to promote the plea bargaining system and that parties who enter into the agreement should see the benefit of it," he said.
He said a plea bargaining system saves court the time of "going through a mountain of evidence" to proving an accused person’s guilt.
“I am persuaded that eight will be fair for the accused person," Ogola said.
The judge further ruled that Karisa could use his statements taken by the police during interrogation.
He said the statements were not confession and therefore were admissible during the hearing where Karisa will testify as a state witness against two other people previously charged alongside him.
Karisa's sentence comes after the deceased's family said they have come to terms with the death of their son whom Karisa confessed to have killed.
Kassim’s family, through their lawyer, said reality has finally dawned on them about the demise of their son.
They said they have accepted the apologies made by the accused who had shown remorse for his action.
“The court should consider our forgiveness while pronouncing itself during the sentencing," the lawyer said.
The family further said it was ready to make any official statements to the court in regards to its stand.
Karisa, on his agreement statement, accepted to have been one of the people who killed the businessman.
He, however, said he was coerced into killing the man as it was never his wish.
He also informed the court that he was never involved in the planning of the killing.
“It is because of my remorse that I initiated the plea bargaining process with the prosecution," he said.
He said he cooperated with the police and confessed his wrongdoing in order to clear his conscience.
“I seek for court’s forgiveness and leniency in its sentencing. I ask for a term not exceeding four years," he said.
The prosecution told the court the accused has been cooperative and truthful throughout the plea bargaining.
Senior state counsel Yamina Jami said the court should consider the deceased’s family forgiveness and observe leniency during Karisa’s sentencing.
“The court has the discretion to sentence him to more than 10 years or less or even a non-custodial sentence," Jami said.