BY OUR REPORTER
At least 36 capital offenders in Rukungiri government Prison,
Rukungiri district, are expected to settle their cases through the
Plea Bargain program. Rukungiri has a total of 469 inmates with 193 of
those committed to high court for trail.
The thirty six cases are set to be heard in the plea bargain session
to be held from 28th to 2nd December at the Rukungiri chief
The session is to be heard by the Kabale residential judge, Justice
Plea Bargaining is the process where an accused person agrees with a
prosecutor to plead guilty to an offense in exchange for a lesser
sentence. The procedure also enables an accused person to negotiate
for a lesser offense or to be turned into a prosecution witness
against other accused persons.
The procedure can be initiated orally or in writing by the accused
person or the prosecution at any stage of a case before the sentence
is passed, and plea bargain agreements are reviewed and approved by a
judge or magistrate.
Among the cases to be heard Murder cases make half of them followed by
rape then Aggravated defilement. The cases stem as far as 2013.
According to the resident state Attorney Oundo Geoffrey this plea
bargain session is a preparation to the main session that will be
Since its pilot in the High Court in Kampala, mid-2014, the procedure
has proved to be quick and cheap to run by the courts, helps to
decongest prisons, reduction of case backlog, and promotes
reconciliation between accused persons and the victims.
The courts save up to 70 percent of the costs spent on cases in the
adversarial trial system.