JUDGMENT OF THE COURT
All the four appellants who were initially charged with a fifth person were convicted of the offence of murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the Penal Code and sentenced to 50 years imprisonment by the High Court (Odero, J).
In accordance with the practice developed by the Court over the years, our first duty, seeing that the appellants, though convicted of murder were sentenced to a term of imprisonment, was to warn them as to the consequences of continuing with their appeals when they risked the imprisonment sentence being substituted with death sentence should the appeal be disallowed. This is how Shah, JA explained the rationale of this practice in his dictum in the case of Joseph Boit Kemei and Samuel Ruto Kiptoo v. R, Criminal Appeal No.7 of 1995,
“If I were to find that the appellants were properly convicted contrary to section 296(2) of the Penal Code... the appellants would be sentenced to death for the first time (emphasis added) by t…