The Attorney General, Advocate Abraham Keetshabe has implored judicial officers- particularly judges to follow the country’s law on death penalty and impose it accordingly.
When addressing the nation on the Opening of the Legal Year this week, he said that the death penalty enshrined in the country’s constitution and that it should be applied in appropriate cases.
He emphasized that it is the duty of a judge to uphold, vindicate and apply the law prescribed by statute and not to detract from it.
“I humbly urge our judicial officers to apply the law as it currently stands in Botswana. Both judicial oath and the existing law place a judicial officer in the position of trustee, and in that regard, members of the public are entitled to trust that in appropriate cases, a sentence of death penalty will be passed without any hesitation,” said the Attorney General.
The statement comes at a time when there is a feeling in the general public that some judges are anti-death penalty and therefore using their positions to drive their personal beliefs by imposing lenient sentences on murderers.
He added that; “I have not a slightest iota of doubt in my mind that our super transparent judicial system is sufficiently equipped to remain impartial as it always has been, and to convict murder accused persons in appropriate cases and sentence such to death”.
This appeal comes at a time when murder cases have dropped by 31 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Rape cases have also dropped to 1919 compared to 2265 recorded the previous year.
However, threats to kill cases have gone up to 836 in 2020 compared to 678 the previous year while defilement cases have shot up by 51 percent in 2020 – 1825 cases recorded compared to 1208 in 2019.