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Latest Developments On Jowie’s Death Penalty Appeal

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Attorney General Justin Muturi has asked the High Court to dismiss a petition by Joseph Irungu, also known as Jowie, challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty in cases where people are charged and convicted of murder.

Jowie, who was recently convicted of murder, has filed a petition seeking to declare laws that prescribe the death penalty in Kenya as unconstitutional.

In response, the AG has argued that the death penalty imposed on Irungu and other convicts is legal and lawful.

“Kenya courts have stated that the death penalty is a lawful sentence and that sentence of death provided in the Penal Code, for offences of murder under Section 204 of Penal Code, aggravated robbery under Section 296(2) of the Penal Code and attempted robbery under Section 297(2) was in line with the Constitutional provisions giving State power to limit right to life through written law,” he said.

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“The Court lacks the jurisdiction to exercise supervisory jurisdiction, that is the High Court’s decision on conviction and sentencing in Nairobi High Court Criminal Case No. 51 of 2018; Republic vs Irungu’ Jowie and another as proposed by the petitioner herein.”

AG argues that the Constitution does not include the right to life as one of the absolute rights that may not be limited under Article 25 of the Constitution.

The AG has sought to have the case dismissed after Jowie approached the Constitutional and Human Rights Division seeking to declare the sentence imposed on him on March 13 violates his right to life.

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“We seek a declaration that the petitioner’s sentence to death on March 13 2024 was in contravention of Irungu’s right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment contrary to Article 25 of the Constitution,” Irungu’s lawyer Andrew Muge states.

According to Jowie, the clause is unconstitutional as other crimes had the right to apply for bail.

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The ruling gave judges discretion to decide whether to hand down the death sentence or life imprisonment.


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