By KBC Reporter
Convicts who attain the age of 80 and above will be pardoned by the state if a proposal to The Power of Mercy Advisory Committee is approved.
The committee which is currently collecting views from the public in Garissa also heard a proposal to form Power of Mercy Committees within the counties that will be tasked with re-integrating ex-convicts into society and follow up on their progress.
The committee heard proposals for the national government to give power to Kenyan citizens to practice their jury duties by being given power to pardon and decide the fate of condemned convicts.
The committee is established under Article 133 (1) of the Constitution, which provides that on the petition of any person, the President may exercise a power of mercy in accordance with the advice of the Advisory Committee established under clause (2) by: granting a free or conditional pardon to a person convicted of an offence, postponing the carrying out of a punishment, either for a specified or indefinite period.
Among other duties stated in the Act, the Advisory Committee on the Power of Mercy is expected to educate persons in correctional institutions on the Power of Mercy and procedures relating to its application.
The committee shall also have powers to receive written or oral submissions and to conduct interviews of persons on whose behalf the request to be granted the power of mercy is made.
At the same time Garissa residents are proposing those in incarceration who attain the age of 80 years be pardoned as it serves little purpose to continue keeping them in jail as their health is frail.
The vice chairman of the interfaith peace committee David Matolo said the committee should also play a central role in integrating ex-convicts into the society, since they still face stigmatization after rehabilitation.
Vice chair of the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee Regina Saira Boisabi noted that rape and defilement cases have become rampant and for this reason the offenders should face maximum penalty.
She also encouraged women to be part of the program that goes around counties, so as be part of the reforms.
The Power of Mercy Advisory Committee of Kenya led by their vice chairperson Regina Saira Boisabi are touring various counties in the country, collecting views and recommendations from the public.
The committee has covered 25 counties so far.