Man removed from death row, Supreme Court says High Court made mistake

Samson Mutero from Gweru was removed from the death row after Supreme Court judge Justice Anne-Marry Gowora, sitting with Justices Elizabeth Gwaunza and Susan Mavangira found that the High Court judge who had sentenced him had made a mistake by overlooking Section 337 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (which was then still a valid law) and opted to sentence Mutero in terms of Section 48(2) of the new Constitution.

The Supreme Court said that by disregarding Section 337 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, the judge placed on the accused person the responsibility to allege and prove the existence of mitigating circumstances in his case, warranting his escape from death penalty. However, in terms of the new Constitution, the State has to allege and prove aggravating circumstances warranting the imposition of death penalty on an accused person.

More: Herald

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