Kenyans want death penalty abolished – survey

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 14 Jun, 2022 17:55 | < 1 min read
Kamiti Maximum prison where those serving death sentence are held. PHOTO/NPS

A new Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) survey report shows that a majority of Kenyans want the death penalty abolished.

In the report, Kenyans think many innocent people are convicted, with 90 percent of those polled supporting the abolition of the death penalty, while 51 percent of the public wants it retained.

However, 61 percent of the public thought that 'many' or 'some' innocent people were sentenced to death in Kenya.

As a result, concerns about wrongful executions reduced support for retention from 51 percent to just 28 percent.

Some Kenyans support death penalty

Those against the death penalty believed that criminals deserved the opportunity for rehabilitation.

The report further showed that opinion formers were particularly concerned over wrongful convictions and human rights abuse.

Only 21 percent of respondents knew no executions had occurred in the past ten years.

There are approximately 600 people on death row in Kenya.

Apart from stiffer penalties, members of the public said an alternative means of reducing crime suggested social justice measures, including moral education for young people, poverty reduction, and more effective policing.

"Most opinion formers believed the government viewed it as a deterrent against serious crime, that there was a lack of political leaders pushing for change and that politicians were nervous to advocate for abolition in case it proved unpopular with the electorate," the survey reads in part.

Kenyans believe the death penalty is a 'sleeping law.'

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