A reunion of judge and convict ends with the latter handing a book he wrote behind bars to his visitor.
KAMPALA - Last week, Justice Remmy Kasule met a man whose sentence of death was commuted by a panel on which the judge was a member.
The Court of Appeal judge had gone to the Maximum Security Prison in Luzira to launch the African Prison’s Project programme, which offers basic legal advice to inmates to enable them represent fellow inmates in court.
While there, one inmate approached Kasule and donated to him a book he authored behind bars titled Leave your Heaven on Earth: Chronicle of a Condemned Prisoner.
After handing the judge a copy of his book, Paul Kakubi then told the high profile visitor that his judgement had transformed him for the better.
He has been in prison for over a decade.
"The reason I have given you this book, my Lord, is that the day I represented myself before your court, you gave me a professional audience," said Kakubi.
"You listened to my issues, you understood them and finally I got a fair judgement before you, my Lord."
Kakubi (right) handed Justice Kasule a copy of the book he wrote in prison
Kasule particularly remembered Kakubi for being the inmate who is studying a law course behind bars.
Kakubi ended up in jail over the murder of his father's neighbour. In October 2008, after spending four years on remand, Justice Lawrence Gidudu of the High Court found him guilty and sentenced him to death.
Kakubi appealed against the death sentence.
The Court of Appeal only recently commuted Kakubi's death sentence. Justice Kasule was part of the panel that made that decision.
When they met on Thursday, Kakubi told the judge why he gave him his book.
He wanted to show the world that condemning a prisoner to death may be the worst scenario to people in conflict with the law, but with God's mercy, they are able to overcome.
Kakubi is studying law behind bars
Kakubi insists he was wrongly condemned.
"I was on death row for a case I did not commit, but I took it upon myself to work my way through and in a few days or years to come, I will be released," he said.
His death sentence was commuted to 20 years.
"I recall your words of encouragement asking me to complete the law course and join the legal fraternity. So in the near future, I will be joining you, my Lord,” Kakubi told the judge.
Shortly after, Kasule patted Kakubi on the shoulder and said he was greatly impressed that he (Kakubi) appreciated the circumstances that led him to incarceration and how he has transformed for the better.
Kakubi has been in jail now for 14 years, meaning that he has six years left on the time he was given. But he could be freed even much earlier - if he is considered for remission.
As provided in the Prisons Act, remission is a system that enables a convict not to serve their entire custodial sentence depending on given circumstances. One of these is good conduct and proof that you have been well rehabilitated.
Below is Kakubi's story behind bars:
Why a Luzira death row inmate decided to study law