“I went to an unfair trial, and in the end I was convicted and sentenced to death.”

Morris Kaberia | Legal Aid Assistant | African Prisons Project

“When I got to the death chambers, I was completely disoriented. I felt like this is it. I found people who had been in prison for 30 years, 20 years, and they always told me that I prepare myself for such a long period in prison. I was wondering what would happen with my young children. What would happen to my young wife. I thought, ‘This is going to destroy my life, and if my life is destroyed in such a manner, than it is not worth living.’ I even contemplated committing suicide.”

“One gentleman known as William who had already attended a program with the African Prisons Project [now called Justice Defenders] approached me and told me, ‘Gentleman, why do you look disturbed? Can I help you? Why can’t you join the academy and try to learn the law which has brought you here.’ I told him, ‘I can’t do this. I’m old, and the people who are supposed to be in school are my children. I’m not interested in studying.’ I refused to go. But he kept pestering me, and one day he left me a criminal law book. And when I flashed through the pages, I found a page where they were talking about disclosure of evidence by the prosecution. This is what I had been arguing about in court. When I went through that piece, I found some grounds which I could take to court, argue them in court, and the court could hear me and understand that I faced an unfair trial.

“So I got interested. I started reading that criminal law book. And since then I have never kept that law book away from me. I am always with it. Because this is now what changed me, what gave me hope, and gave me back my dignity, and it was brought about by African Prisons Project. If it were not for African Prisons Project, I am sure that I would not be alive today.”

Listen to Morris share his story in his own voice on our Two Coins podcast HERE.