Gov’t in dilemma after court orders removal of this prison law

Prisoners in a Kenya prison

Machakos High Court Judge on Tuesday delivered a landmark ruling during a petition seeking to a section of the prison law changed.

Judge George Odunga ruled that the section of the law that subjected prisoners to life imprisonment was inhuman and unlawful.

Odunga disregarded the law and stated that the inmates should get remissions, which is termed as reduction of the prisoner’s sentence.

The judge further added that it was unconstitutional to have such a rule and that the criminals deserved equal treatment and protection of the law.

Justice George Odunga during a case hearing

He further directed the Commissioner-General of Prisons to calculate the remissions of the prisoners.

Five inmates all serving life imprisonment jail terms after being found guilty of robbery with violence, had filed a petition with the aim to have it abolished.

According to the law, robbery with violence offenders are not entitled to a lower jail term.

Kenya High Court

The five namely Sammy Mbugua, Nicholas Ndetei, Sammy Mukusya, John Mbatha and Paul Mumo had argued that it was discriminatory that all other law offenders including terrorists, were entitled to remission yet they were denied the same treatment.

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