High Court Commutes Sentences Of 41 Inmates

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The sentences of 41 inmates at the Langata Women Prisons was on Thursday commuted after review by the High Court.

Officer in charge of the prison Olivia Onyango made the recommendations and forwarded the prisoners’ files to the court for review.

Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said 38 of the prisoners left the maximum prison on Friday with the remaining three leaving after completing their reduced jail terms.

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In considering who gets released, the High Court took into consideration the duration each offender spent in pre-trial detention. They also looked into the period the inmates have spent in jail as convicts and their post-conviction behavior as recorded by the prison, among other factors to determine those to be released.

Mwilu said this will decongest the prison and give the inmates opportunity to regain the freedom to enjoy their lives.

The Deputy Chief Justice also announced that among those freed were foreign nationals. She said:

“Those freed include a Tanzanian and two Burundian immigrants jailed for being in the country illegally with orders to be repatriated after completing their jail terms.”

The foreigners were in incarceration after courts ordered them to pay fines and be repatriated or serve a jail term before the repatriation.

But judges who reviewed their sentences recommended they be released and repatriated immediately instead of staying in the prison.

Deputy CJ Mwilu led Lady Justice Hannah Okwengu of the appeal court and the high court’s criminal division principal judge Jessie Lesiit to celebrate the Madaraka Day with inmates at the Langata Women Prisons.

Langata Women Prisons

Other members of the court present there are Justice Lydia Achode and Grace Ngenye, high court registrar Ann Amandi, along with other several magistrates.

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She said the regular reviewing of prisoners sentences will be carried out in other prisons to ensure that those who should be set free are released.

“It is only fair to pardon some of the inmates and the criteria used is based on the behavior of the inmates and the sentences that they were serving.”

Mwilu also recommended that the penal code be amended to be sensitive to those in conflict with the law. She said that cases take too long to be heard which inadvertently causes psychological trauma to the offenders reprimanded in prisons.

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