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Prisoners serving long sentences appeal to the president for pardon

Prisoners  who have served long sentences at the Kericho GK Main Prison have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to pardon them by having their sentences commuted and released on the Power of Mercy.

Robinson Ogembo, a 51 old murder convict who has served a term of 21 years at Kericho GK Main Prison for robbery with violence, appealed to the president to release some of them, who have served long sentences.

Ogembo who was given chance to speak before the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (POMAC) on Friday in Kericho thanked the president for appointing the team to look into the prison affairs, with a view to pardoning some of them.

The inmate said he had since reformed and was now a good citizen though still in prison, adding that most of those in incarceration had embraced love and forgiven everyone, who in any away could have contributed in making them go to jail.

The POMAC which was chaired by the Vice Chairperson, Dr. Janet Kirui are on a mission to all the G.K. prisons in the country to receive petitions from convictedcriminals.

After receiving the petitions, the committee will hear, conduct interviews, investigate, research and collect data while simultaneously educating the prisoners on how they can apply for presidential pardon through the committee.

After receiving reports and applications for pardon from the convicts, the committee through established state organs then advises the president on the deserving petitioners who can be pardoned in a just and fair manner.

Dr. Kirui said prisoners who have served a jail term of more than one third of their sentence for the various offences they committed, were free to apply for the presidential power of mercy through their committee.

She noted that before the offenders were freed under this amnesty by the president, a report on them has to be collected by a probation officer, who has to get in touch with the person(s) or individual(s) the offences were committed against.

This may include relatives and communities the convicts come from, so as to ensure that the convicts will find a safe place to live once released, or they are accepted back to the society.

On convicts who committed the crimes because of mental problems, Dr. Kirui said they must be ascertained by a medical doctor that they were now healed and reformed before they are released.

The offenders must also be willing to abandon their past and must have reformed through theological teachings among other things, like learning skill that could make them better members of the society, who can be relied upon.

By  Dominic  Cheres

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