• An audit report into the country’s criminal justice system released by Chief Justice David Maraga in January 2017 showed petty offenders are likely to be jailed, unlike capital offenders
• Allow petty offenders to do community service in their counties and deny murder suspects bonds
Murder in an African setting is a taboo. However, suspects can still get bail.
The release of murder suspects can be traumatising to the relatives of the deceased. Some of these murder suspects are relatives of the victims and their release on bond culminates to the interference of witnesses and evidence. Those aggrieved continue seeing the suspects who go further to threaten witnesses, sometimes with murder.
On the other hand, more than 75 per cent of prisoners in our jails aged between 18 and 35 are petty offenders.
An audit report into the country’s criminal justice system released by Chief Justice David Maraga in January 2017 showed petty offenders are likely to be jailed, unlike capital offenders where suspects are either acquitted, matters resolved outside the court or they successfully appeal against the sentences.
The report showed that 70 per cent of cases processed through the justice system are offences related to lack of business licenses, drunkenness, touting, traffic offences, petty crime and creating disturbance, which can be classified as economically or socially petty. Many petty offenders who cannot pay fine of Sh5,000 and below are languishing in jail, while murder suspects walk free.
Justice Maraga questioned why a majority of young people charged for various offences end up in prison when they should be given alternative ways of rebuilding their lives to help decongest prisons. There were two cases a while ago where witnesses disappeared and some were found murdered.
Allow petty offenders to do community service in their counties and deny murder suspects bonds. They should remain in custody until proven innocent as they are a security threat.