Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024


By Godfrey Olukya   9-11-2012

Although several  Human Rights groups have requested south Sudan to temporarily stop  death penalty, the government has insisted that it should stay.

In order to be fair, the ministry of Justice has allocated funds to help poor people on death row to hire lawyers to defend them.

Recently a coalition of human rights groups comprising both local and international human rights defenders wrote a letter to the government requesting it to put a moratorium to death penalty.

The minister of justice, John Luk Jok, said they have received the letter requesting the government to temporarily stop  death penalty.

He however said that the death penalty is constitutional and is only carried out in cases of extreme crime. He however said that abolition of the death penalty is still a policy matter that the government needs to discuss.

Jok said, ‘In our situation in South Sudan, it is a policy matter that can be discussed  within the government. But as far as the legal position is concerned, the death penalty is one of the penalties that the court can impose on serious cases such as murder and treason.’

He said that much care is taken by the judiciary before one is sentenced to death. He said there are restrictions to death sentence .

‘For example, death penalty cannot be imposed on anybody who is under the age of 18. It can not also be imposed  on women that are pregnant or women that are lactating. he said.

The government believes that some people on death row could be innocent and that is why it is providing them funds to hire  lawyers. Some of them were convicted before the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and  it is likely they did not have proper legal representation.

Currently, there are  over 200 inmates on death row across the country.



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