Nakuru High Court frees duo on death sentence after 17 years in prison

A duo sentenced to death was on Friday set free by the High Court in Nakuru.

Samuel Mucheru and Geoffrey Mugo had served 17 years at the Nakuru prison since their conviction in 2001. Their appeals were accepted.

Judge Joel Ngugi said the time served by the convicts is enough and the death sentence handed before was harsh.

“The time served in prison by the petitioners would, given the circumstances here, serve all the sentencing, considering the nature of offence, its circumstances, the appeal and societal interests in denouncing the crime,” Ngugi said.

Taking into account the degree of injuries suffered by the complainant and comparing it with the sentence, the judge said there was evidence of violence but it was minimal.

“Taking all the factors of their conviction into consideration, I do not find the robbery committed to be heinous [enough] to attract the death penalty.”

During their appeal, the two told the court that they had reformed and they are sorry for their actions.

Mucheru said, “I ask for forgiveness for my wrongdoing. I am now reformed and taking up courses while in prison.”

Mugo told the court he was young when he committed the offence and is now ready to join his family as a changed man.

“I ask the court to reduce my sentence from death,” he said.

Prosecutor Jackson Motende said the circumstances of the case did not warrant the death sentence.

But he added, “The appellant were armed with weapons, slapped the complainant with the side of a machete, were more than three and stole items worth more than Sh200,000.”

He appealed to the court to grant the convicts a sentence they deserve.

“Looking at the circumstances, I recommend that 20 years imprisonment would be an appropriate alternative sentence.”

The two committed the offence on June 15, 2001 at Kampi Ya Moto Scheme in Nakuru.

Mucheru and Mugo were armed with a Somali sword, metal bars and a panga when they attacked and robbed Jacinta Wairimu of items worth more than Sh200,000.

They two were apprehended the following day and taken to custody. They had exhausted their appeals but after they were given new options by the Supreme Court, they approached the High Court with fresh appeals.

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High Court in Nakuru