Two boda boda riders from Nyeri,Kenya were sentenced to death for stealing a laptop after losing an appeal in a high court.
The two, Simon Kamau and Daniel Mwatha, were handed the sentence by a Nyeri High Court after conviction.
Handing them over to the hangman, Justice Abigail Mshila dismissed the duo’s appeal upholding an earlier ruling by a lower court.
According to court records, the riders robbed their victim, Maurine Mumbi of her laptop and personal items valued at Ksh73,000.
They were armed with a knife as they accosted her at Dedan Kimathi University back in February 2014.
The two reportedly left the motorbike at the scene of the crime as they fled.
The penal code prescribes that if the offender is armed with any dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, or is in company with one or more other person or persons, or if, at or immediately before or immediately after the time of the robbery, he wounds, beats, strikes or uses any other personal violence to any person, he shall be sentenced to death.
In the case of attempted robbery, any person who assaults any person with intent to steal anything, and, at or immediately before or immediately after the time of the assault, uses or threatens to use actual violence to any person or property in order to obtain the thing intended to be stolen, or to prevent or overcome resistance to its being stolen, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
Earlier on, the Supreme Court ruled that the mandatory death sentence was unconstitutional as it violates dignity, access to justice and the right to fair trial by taking away the judges’ discretion in considering mitigating factors.
The court, however, made it clear that the death sentence had not been outlawed but rather, should be a discretionary sentence, and proceeded to give guidelines to be used in assessing mitigating circumstances.