[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Feb 12 01:16:24 CST 2005
AG Calls for List of Death Row Inmates
The Attorney General (AG), Mr Kiddu Makubuya, has asked the Uganda Prisons
to forward a list of condemned prisoners who have applied for a
presidential pardon, The Monitor has learnt.
Sources in the Uganda Prisons and the Attorney General's Chambers told The
Monitor that Makubuya wrote the letter last week.
Makubuya is the chairman of the Committee on Prerogative of Mercy, which
vets and forwards names of pardon-seeking convicts to the President for
Upon receipt of the letter, the Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr
Johnson Byabashaija, wrote to the officers in charge of the Condemned
Section of Luzira Upper Prison to forward the names of the convicts who
applied for pardon. Byabashaija declined to comment on whether he had
asked for names of convicts on death row who wanted pardon.
"Those are matters for the Attorney General," he said.
But the Attorney General, Makubuya, denied writing to the Uganda Prisons
asking for names of convicts who were seeking pardon.
"I don't know anything. I can assure you I know nothing," he said.
But sources at both the Prisons headquarters and AG's office said
Makubuya's letter exists. The President has not pardoned any convict on
death row since he ordered the release of former Governor of Central
Province under Idi Amin's regime, Mr Nasur Abdallah, in September 2001.
Nasur had been convicted of murder and had been in Luzira Prison since his
conviction in 1980. He was found guilty of murdering former Mayor of
Masaka town, Mr Francis Walugembe, in 1972.
Last year, Museveni pardoned at least 245 convicts on various petty
offences. They were mainly women, the elderly and those who had remained
with a quarter of their sentence to serve.
The Monitor could not get the names of the convicts seeking pardon.
Among the prominent convicts on death row in Luzira are former Minister of
State for Security in Obote II government, Chris Rwakasisi and former
Prime Minister of Tooro Kingdom, John Sanyu Katuramu.
Others are Ben Simba Ogwang, a former soldier in the Obote government, who
has spent about 20 years in Luzira and Johnson Kamya, a younger brother to
city tycoon, Mr Gordon Wavamunno.
There are at least 417 convicts on death row in Luzira.
The AG's request for names of death row convicts seeking pardon comes at a
time when condemned prisoners have petitioned court to declare the death
penalty unconstitutional. Over 300 condemned convicts are seeking court
orders that the death penalty be expunged from Uganda's law books. In 2003
the Uganda Prisons submitted a proposal to the Constitutional Review
Commission seeking removal of the death penalty from the law books. The
commission however rejected the proposal. The Prisons argued in their
submission that hanging convicts traumatises the hangmen who execute the
(source: The Monitor)
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