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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Death Penalty: 9th Parliament Displays Lots Of Ignorance

The ignorance rampant in the 9th parliament and their total inability to think anywhere near outside the box was clearly illustrated when a bill seeking to outlaw the death penalty was thrown out without a second though and without much debate.

The legislators failed to note the fact that the death penalty in Kenya was in reality abolished 20 years ago, which was the last time the hangman alipata kibarua.. These days occupants of State house do not have the heart to sign the necessary papers to send offenders to the gallows. The result: they are congesting death row cells living in that terrible situation where you know you can walk to the gallows at any time but have no idea exactly when it will be.

The overpaid, mostly overweight MPs failed to note that the despite the death penalty, crime has not gone down in Kenya. In other words it has failed to be a deterrent and should therefore be removed from the books.

The only way the death penalty can have at least a little impact is to make the executions public and to have the guy living in State House signing the execution orders regularly. These two things are highly unlikely to happen and based on this, there is no point in having a law that does not work.

Then there is the fact that other countries with serious crime rate problems like South Africa abolished the death penalty a long time ago. Even neighboring Tanzania's death penalty does not extend to armed robbery, the main cause of concern for many Kenyans. Only Tanzanians who kill others face the death penalty.

What I personally find very strange and fascinating is how Kenyans who are comfortable DO NOT seem to understand their less privileged countrymen, nor the criminal mind. And neither are they interested, all they want to do is to protect their ill-gotten wealth and the way most of them see it is in showing no mercy to criminals. They are completely unable to see the big picture, which is the fact that without fundamental changes in government policy and direction, crime will continue to escalate in this country.

Well, you can't teach old dogs new tricks can you?

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