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(2002) JELR 100176 (CA)

Court of Appeal  •  Criminal Appeal 96 of 2002  •  18 Oct 2002  •  Kenya

Riaga Samuel Cornelius Omolo, Emmanuel Okello O'Kubasu, Abdulrasul Ahmed Lakha



As far as we are aware there is no law in Kenya which would prevent a person charged with an offence punishable by death from pleading guilty to such a charge. As long ago as 1946, the then Court of Appeal for Eastern Africa had this to say on that subject:-

“This is one of those rare cases in which it was in no sense improper for a Judge to accept a plea of guilty to murder. The accused was represented by counsel and must have understood what he was charged with and the consequences of his plea. There is no statutory provision invalidating such a plea.” (underlining ours) - see Rex v. Changuony Arap Kisang (1946) VOL XIII, 153.

We think the same position still obtains to this day. There is no statutory provision to the effect that a person charged with an offence the penalty for which is death cannot plead guilty to such a charge. But as the court remarked in Kisang’s case, such cases are rare. They are indeed the exception rather than the rule. That being so, the …

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