While passing out prison officers on January 18, President Museveni said he might be forced to change his position on hanging death row inmates because criminals have been taking him for granted.
But some lawyers have warned against this route saying it will not necessarily bring down levels of violent crime such as murders.
Ladislaus Rwakafuzi said punishment by death alone isn’t enough to deter crime.
“Crime alone can’t deter crime, a third world country like ours would require good governance, equal opportunities and smooth legal processes”, Rwakafuzi said.
Uganda last hanged a death row inmate in 1999, but levels of crime have been increasingly being recorded every year. Was the president’s statement only political or rather a radical one towards combatting crime.
“I don’t think it was even part of the script, it was off the guard, he didn’t mean it,” Rwakafuzi said.
The Uganda Police Force argued otherwise.
Punishment deters crime and the heavier the punishment, the more the impact.
“As a police officer, being subjective, I think the death penalty is good. It scares away would be criminals”, Kayima said.
The number of crimes reported to police annually has remained fairly constant at about 259,000 cases annually.
Kayima said the death penalty could contribute towards fighting crime if upheld.
There are 278 inmates serving the death sentence and of these, 74 are waiting for the prerogative of mercy from the president.
In a landmark judgment delivered in 2005 of Susan Kigula case, the Constitutional court declared the death sentences unconstitutional.
However in 2009, the supreme court left the issuance of the death sentence to the discretion of the judge.