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Dr. Reuben Gibson Kweingoti (PhD) - Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies, Member of Curriculum Development- Religious Studies, Post Graduate Student's Career Guidance, Former Director Bomet Campus Maasai Mara University, Kenya


Today Kenyans spend more and more time in courts because our moral and social foundations are crumbling and we cannot count on them to provide adequate guidelines for our behavior. We are a society so raven such that no court action can save a society which evades its responsibility by thrusting upon its courts and its own laws. Prevention of crime depends on whether through punishment; criminals are made aware of their wrong doing. This happens when they are exposed to public anonymity or to the horrors of solitary confinement in prison. Besides, Kenya politically is splattered into single issue factions; religiously it is a vast kaleidoscope with hardly a shred of internal cohesion. Bentham’s Thoughts on punishment and torture are interwoven with his views of law reform, Penal reform and Parliamentary reform. Governments have several theories to support the use of punishment to maintain order in society Theories of punishment can be divided into two general philosophies: utilitarian and retributive. Torture involves more physical, moral and psychological pain more than any other ordinary punishment. It is administered in situations where a person is made to suffer any violent pain of the body in order to compel him to do something or to desist from doing something which is done or desisted form the penal application is immediately made to cease. Bentham argues against capital punishment because he condemns its use by tyrants and its application as a consequence of judicial corruption. But he admits that if capital punishment proves to be efficacious and becomes popular, the public approval of it would be proportionate to its efficacy. Conclusively, Bentham’s contribution on torture and punishment offers us a new and more compassionate perspective on the problem of punishment and torture than suggestions of contemporary writers. For this reason, re-reading Bentham’s work is not only required as far even applicable to African culture, specifically on the Kenyan judicial culture, but as well as a necessary matter.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)