The Deputy Chief Justice has questioned the usefulness the death penalty after attending the graduation ceremony of a former Death Row inmate inside prison.
Justice Owiny Dollo attended the party for Susan Kigula at Luzira Maximum security prison in Kampala this week and came out wondering if having the death penalty is after all something to be proud of.
Dollo told the BBC:”When you attend such a function even as a judicial officer you begin questioning whether we need a death penalty in this country. You question because a person who is on the wrong side of the law today could be a person of great influence tomorrow.”
Susan Kigula was convicted of murder when she was 21 years old and sentenced to death. While serving her sentence and awaiting execution, she studied for a law degree and graduated this week.
It was while on death row that she was convinced to study law. She told the BBC: “We had no classes – I was studying under a tree. I weathered the sun, I weathered the rain. Some of my fellow inmates and some of the staff did not understand why a death row inmate would study law but it was because of the determination, the commitment, the perseverance and hardwork that I put in because I had set a goal to change my life for better.”
Kigula successfully challenged her sentence in a landmark ruling and now wants the death penalty to be abolished: She said: “I want people to know that we do not need a death sentence in our country. Had I been executed I would not be here sharing my story with you”.