The Supreme Court in Uganda has upheld the death penalty.
The ruling made by the court today rejects an appeal by 417 death row inmates that sought the abolition of the death penalty on the grounds that it is unusually cruel, degrading and inhuman. It upholds a 2005 decision of Uganda’s Constitutional Court maintaining punishment by death and death by hanging as legal.
The Supreme Court however ruled as unconstitutional keeping convicts on death row for more than three years. It said sentences for any prisoners held on death row for more than three years should be reduced to life imprisonment. More than 80 percent of the convicts on death row will benefit from this ruling.
Of the seven judges who heard the death penalty case, there was only one dissenting voice. Jusice Engonda Ntede said the death penalty and death by hanging were degrading, inhuman and inconsistent with the Constitution of Uganda and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.