Former DPC Aurien's Death Sentence Reduced to 40years

1539 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Justice Aweri in his analysis explained that the investigators did a shoddy work that left a lot of gaps on how the deceased was killed. He gave three schools of thought that could have caused Apolots death were never investigated to their logical conclusion.

The Court of Appeal has commuted the death sentence that was earlier handed to former Mukono District Police Commander James Peter Aurien to serving 40 years in prison.

In a 2-1 majority decision of the court, Justices Remmy Kasule and Augustine Nshimye faulted High Court Judge Lawrence Gidudu for handing Aurien a ‘harsh' and ‘excessive' sentence.

Aurien was in 2010 convicted for the murder of his wife Christine Apolot, in an incident that occurred on the night of April 19, 2008 at their home in Lugazi barracks. The two reportedly had a quarrel on the fateful day.

However, the Judges explained that the circumstances that led to the shooting did not fall in the category of the worst of the worst that would have attracted a death sentence.

They observed that Aurien is capable of reforming having embarked on this process in November 2010 when he was convicted and imprisoned for the murder. The justices also cited Aurien's many orphaned children that he left behind saying they need a chance to enjoy the love and care of their father.

But Justice Rubby Aweri Opio dissented from his two colleagues by saying Aurien must be acquitted of the murder.

Justice Aweri in his analysis explained that the investigators did a shoddy work that left a lot of gaps on how the deceased was killed. He gave three schools of thought that could have caused Apolot's death were never investigated to their logical conclusion.

The first school of thought was that the deceased could have shot herself; she could have been accidentally murdered or deliberately killed by the irritated husband.

Despite lessening his maximum penalty to 40 years in jail, Aurien vowed to appeal further before the final court in the land (Supreme Court) to prove his innocence.