Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta signed a law that will spare the lives of over 2500 Kenyans on death row. Rather than the use of capital punishment, they will spend the rest of their lives in prison. While Kenya has not implemented the death penalty since 1987, the fact that they abolished it completely has many Kenyans praising the forward thinking of the President and the positive direction that the Kenyan government is heading towards.
While this decision of commutation may be a political move by Kenyatta to increase public support, the overall positive message it gives to the Kenyan people shows the new direction the government is taking. Capital punishment is a difficult topic to navigate, with many people seeing it as a positive crime deterrent and acceptable form of punishment to the “worst of society”. However, the idea of capital punishment as an inhumane and almost archaic form of punishment in developed nations is slowly increasing in popularity in developed nations. As one of the world powers, should the US lead the charge in this changing idea on capital punishment? Or would “sticking to our guns” be more effective in showing our cementing our place as a world leader?