A man in Malindi will go home happy after a court quashed his death sentence and replaced it with community service. Mr Kahindi Mwatsuma will serve a non-custodial sentence of three years’ community-based work.
Mr Mwatsuma has spent approximately 14 years in prison after his conviction in the year 2006. In the past, he attempted to overturn the death sentence twice but was unsuccessful.
Mr Mwatsuma was convicted on convicted on two robbery with violence offences. In one of his appeals, the Court of Appeal only suspended one of his death sentences leaving him to serve the other.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the High Court should have set aside the death sentence on count two. It pointed out that it is unreasonable to place two death sentences on one person.
Unsatisfied by the decision, Mr Mwatsuma filed a constitutional petition seeking to be set free. While presenting his case to Justice Reuben Nyakundi, he said that the death sentence was extreme. He also said that after spending 14 years in prison, he was reformed. Additionally, he said that he was remorseful for the offence.
Mr Mwatsuma argued that the 14 years he served in custody helped him to be a law-abiding citizen.
The constitutional court quashed the death sentence. Additionally, it directed the probation officer to sign the necessary instruments with Mr Mwatsuma for an early release and home-based rehabilitation for a further three years.
Justice Nyakundi said that Mr Mwatsuma had established a strong case for a re-sentencing.
“Needless to say, the petitioner has served close to 14 years’ imprisonment for the offence. For this reason, I allow the petition, vary the death sentence, being served as a convicted life imprisonment in lieu of 17 years’ sentence with a condition that the remainder of the period of three years be community-based under the supervision of the probation officer within his home sub-county,” the Judge ruled.