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Principal Judge to Prisoners: Embrace Plea Bargain Program

Wilson Obote, an inmate who spoke on behalf of the prisoners said called upon the judiciary to look into matters of people whose cases are just fabricated, even some who are in Prison being accused of crimes committee outside. He also said the judiciary should look at cases where prisoners or suspects are tortured by Police as they seek to get information.
Prisoners involved in making furniture

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The Principal Judge, Yorokamu Bamwine has appealed to inmates to embrace plea bargaining, which is a sure way of ensuring both sides get justice.

Plea bargaining allows accused persons to plead guilty to criminal charges to save court's time in exchange for lenient sentences. This is one of the measures introduced by the judiciary to address the case backlog.

Justice Bamwine was launching the hands on experience and case preparation on plea bargaining of the various stakeholders at Luzira Upper Prison. 

Bamwine who spent close to an hour explaining to inmates at Luzira Maximum Prisons about the advantages of plea bargaining said that unlike where an inmate  serves his or her term, plea bargaining provides an opportunity for negotiation between the accused and the accuser, and also provides for reconciliation despite the fact that one would still be punished.

Bamwine asked the inmates to embrace plea bargain saying it saves courts time and resources but also helps to decongest prisons. 

He told the inmates that plea bargain is also unique since an inmate will be able to negotiate for his punishment. 

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The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mike Chibita however told the inmates not to accept plea bargain, if they are not guilty. He says it is important for an inmate or a suspect to cooperate with the judiciary in order for them to get justice. He says it is not good for an inmate to  spend a long time in jail.

Wilson Obote, an inmate who spoke on behalf of the prisoners said called upon the judiciary to look into matters of inmates who have been wrongly imprisoned.

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Robert Munanura, the Commissioner in charge of Custodial duties who represented the Commissioner General of Prisons at the event said that Luzira Prisons is currently over crowded

He explained that 3,000 prisoners are in Upper Prisons and yet it is meant to have 600, 2,500 in Murchison bay instead of 600 inmates and the Women's Prisons which is designed for 140 inmates, but has 506 and 33 children.

There are a total of 52,000 prisoners all over the country with 52% of them on remand and only 47% as convicts.

There are so far 4000 prisoners who have benefitted from plea bargain.

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