Amendment of unfair rule
The group is represented by Mr Aloise Onyango Odhiambo, is a trained paralegal and fellow convict at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.
They stated that their detainment under the rule ‘detained at the President’s pleasure’ should be declared illegal.
The DPP and the Attorney General were on Monday ordered to respond to the petition filed by the convicts after a successful argument by Mr Odhiambo.
The paralegal explained that, “It is evident from the time the petitioners have spent in prison that the President has not, and will not, find pleasure to look into their cause and, therefore, this calls for this honourable court’s intervention.”
Section 25 (2) of the Penal Code states that, “Sentence of death shall not be pronounced on or recorded against any person convicted of an offence if it appears to the court that at the time when the offence was committed he was under the age of eighteen years, but in lieu thereof the court shall sentence such person to be detained during the President’s pleasure, and if so sentenced he shall be liable to be detained in such place and under such conditions as the President may direct, and whilst so detained shall be deemed to be in legal custody."
The mentioned rule has however evoked mixed feelings on how such cases should be handled.
According to some judges, the law undermines the detachment of powers between the judiciary and the President.
A section of High Court judges further noted that such cases involving people with mental illness should be put in hospital instead of prison.
The fact that the law is yet to be amended has seen more people sentenced based on that section.