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Prison Constable: My take on Ruth Kamande’s death sentence
By Laban Nyaga | Updated Sep 06, 2018 at 11:50 EAT
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Ruth Kamande sentenced to prison
SUMMARY

The story of Ruth Kamande, the one-time Miss Lang'ata Women's Prison has been widely published in both local and international media outlets

The court in its decision had to weigh in all the evidence given, the testimonies given by witnesses

The story of Ruth Kamande, the one-time Miss Lang'ata Women's Prison has been widely published in both local and international media outlets. Most people arguing that this was a crime of passion.

In July 19 2018, she was handed a death penalty by a Kenyan court. The court in its decision had to weigh in all the evidence given, the testimonies given by witnesses.

A crime broadly consists of two elements. The first being the Actus Reus or the act and the second being Mens Reus or the intent. Whereas it's very easy to determine the act, it's also equally tough to determine the intent.


Off course, the circumstances surrounding the act are looked into and that is why a person's murder charge can be reduced to manslaughter which attracts a less severe penalty as compared to murder. For Ruth, the judge ruled that it was murder.

Now, when one has been given a death sentence, he or she becomes a condemned prisoner. Essentially one is supposed to be killed in most cases for our Kenyan cases one is hanged. However, in Kenya, people are no longer killed, they serve a life sentence.

Hezekiah Ochuka was the last person to be hanged after being handed a death sentence for his role in the failed coup in 1982.

Off course, justice has to take its course. However, all is not lost. Correctional centers are there to make sure that such individuals have a second chance of living positively. In my own thoughts, the case of Ruth was as a result of failing to manage her anger effectively.


No matter the issues that she was facing, had she been able to control her anger, I bet things would have been different. Most of the prisoners serving a death sentence have had issues to do with anger management. Get me right, I am not condemning Ruth. This is my presumption.

The best that we can do is be there for her. Her immediate family members should not neglect her during her time in prison. We have seen the importance of family support in ensuring successful rehabilitation of an inmate. Guidance and counselling from the various experts in the correctional centers will also go a long way in shaping up her life.


We all face issues that could have a negative impact in our lives if not handled properly. You can help a brother or a sister in going through such issues. Never alienate yourself from such individuals. Instead be their shoulder to lean on.

Lastly, imprisonment is not a permanent condition. Imprisonment gives a person a second chance in life. There are people who have been handed a death sentence but after a successful rehabilitation process, they have seen freedom yet again.

We never know for the case of Ruth. As it is right now, we need to respect the decision of the court and if she feels that the ruling was not fair, there is always a chance to appeal the decision.

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