What Will Happen to Ruth Kamande After Death Penalty Sentence

  • The sentencing of former miss Lang'ata Prison Ruth Kamande on Thursday has attracted diverse reactions from Kenyans including top political elites and professionals. 

    Ms Kamande was handed the maximum death penalty for stabbing her boyfriend 22 times in 2015 by High Court judge Jessie Lesiit.

    The beauty queen, who has been in remand since 2015, was convicted on grounds that she acted on purpose

    Following the ruling, Ruth has a chance to appeal the sentence within 14 days. 

    [caption caption="Ruth Kamande who is Miss Langata 2016 beauty pageant at a Milimani court"][/caption]
    Her sentence has since left many Kenyans with unanswered questions of whether she will be hung and if not, why then did the judge issue the sentence.

    According to records, the last execution carried out in Kenya was done in 1987 when Kenya Air Force senior private official Hezekiah Ochuka and Pancras Oteyo Okumu were hanged for treason.

    After trying to overthrow former President Daniel Moi in 1982, the two together with other masterminds were sentenced to death and were the last people to be executed to date.

    This capital punishment had been practiced in Kenya since before independence, as the mandatory death penalty was generally bestowed on all former British colonies, as stated under the Common Law of England, as the 'penalty of murder', and is still provided for under the Kenyan law. 

    The last and longest serving hangman at Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kirugumi wa Wanjuki,  died in 2009 after what was suspected to have been a pneumonia attack. 

    In 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed commutation documents turning all death sentences into life jail terms. 

    Uhuru invoked the Power of Mercy provided for in the Constitution in Article 133 when he signed a pardon warrant and released 102 long-term convicts.

    Following the signing at State House, Nairobi, some 2,747 death row convicts are now serving life imprisonment.

    [caption caption="Miss Lang'ata Prison Ruth Kamande"][/caption]

    Additionally, reiterating Uhuru's actions, the Supreme Court made a landmark ruling on the death sentence in 2017 affirming that the mandatory penalty was unconstitutional.

    Justice Njoki Ndung'u stated that the section "is out of sync and cannot stand as it is inconsistent with the constitution".

    The landmark ruling was made after a petition was filed by two death row convicts, Francis Murwatetu and Wilson Thrombus

    Following the ruling, the Office of the Attorney General noted that the Supreme Court of Kenya did not abolish the death sentence in December 2017 but rather gave courts the discretion of sentencing similar cases on an individual basis.

    He then formed a task force to review the death penalty as engraved in the law.