Death penalty has no place in society-State Attorney

The Principal State Attorney, Frank Mwine Mugisha, has described the death penalty as a horrible punishment that should not be applied in any African society that values human rights. He petitoned all countries to repeal it. In an interview with The New Times, Mugisha described the sentence as miscarriage of justice, saying that this was the reason behind its retraction in the judicial systems of some countries.
 Bar chair, Athanase Rutabingwa, wants the death penalty abolished is all countries. The New Times./ File photo
Bar chair, Athanase Rutabingwa, wants the death penalty abolished is all countries. The New Times./ File photo

The Principal State Attorney, Frank Mwine Mugisha, has described the death penalty as a horrible punishment that should not be applied in any African society that values human rights.

He petitoned all countries to repeal it.

In an interview with The New Times, Mugisha described the sentence as miscarriage of justice, saying that this was the reason behind its retraction in the judicial systems of some countries.

Rwanda is among the countries that repealed the capital sentence from her penal code.

“Death penalty is a door of no return and one of the reasons why many countries are against it, is the possibility of miscarriage of justice which can lead to the end of an innocent human life,” he said.

“Any single life is invaluable, yet the death penalty is nothing less than murder carried out in a cruel and calculated manner by the state. Indeed, death penalty is contrary and in violation of human rights norms.”

After  the Second World War, a new era of human rights and international law first sought to lay down the foundations of human rights(UDHR 1948), to move towards country by country to introduce suspension and later to universally abolish the death penalty.

International experts from various countries, including 25 from Africa, will meet in Kigali next month to discuss the elimination of the death penalty.

The conference is organised by the government in conjunction with “HANDS OFF CAIN”, an Italian organisation committed to the fight against the application of the death penalty with support from European Union, African Union and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

 “Some countries still retain death penalty in their books arguing that, it is constructional to take life for greater good and justice demands that criminals receive punishment in keeping with their offence,” Mugisha noted.

The principal state Attorney added having gone through the worst human catastrophe and managed to cope up with the aftermath of the Genocide, and having reconciled her communities which were torn apart by genocide, Rwanda decided to abolish the penalty in 2008.

The head of Kigali Bar Association, Athanase Rutabingwa acknowledged that there should not be death penalty not only in Africa but in the entire world.

“We punish people to rehabilitate them to come back to their normal life. So how do you expect him to learn if you have killed him,” Rutabingwa, a criminal lawyer, said .

Ends

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