Justice Centres Uganda (JCU) through her Prison Decongestion Programme (PDP) represented 29 (26 men, 3 women) death row convicts who were beneficiaries of the Suzan Kigula Supreme Court judgment, Constitutional Appeal No.3 of 2006, but were still languishing in Luzira Maximum Prison as a result of their missing High Court files.
JCU took on the matter in March 2016 on the request of the Honourable, The Principal Judge, Justice Dr. Bamwine. The death row convicts were represented in mitigation sessions before Hon. Masalu Musene at the High Court – Kampala.
After JCU intervention, all 29 death row convicts had their sentences revised save for one (Mwanga Francis) who had the death row sentence maintained. Of the 29, 12 death row convicts were set free (10 men, 2 women) on 10th, 11th and 12th October, 2016. While the remaining 17 death row inmates had their sentences reduced from death to imprisonment sentences ranging from between 3 to 18yrs.
The death row inmates released include; Ambayo James (Male, 43yrs), Eiyo Santa (Female, 40yrs), Paulina Auma (Female, 50yrs), Ogeno Edongi (Male, 66yrs), Chepsikol Ben Alias Major Mand (Male, 35yrs), Chekwoti Joseph (Male, 36yrs), Kiwanuka Badru Alias Kakungulu (Male, 58yrs), Kasolo Siraje (Male, 37yrs), Okori Francis (Male, 42yrs), Odyek David (Male, 37yrs), Twijukye Wilber (Male, 45yrs), and Rutaremwa Rogers (Male, 40yrs).
This intervention has contributed towards the reduction in the significant levels of prison overcrowding and Court case backlog.
By Angela Mwanje | Published: November 11 2016