Factors Influencing Dismissal Of Criminal Cases In Kenyan Courts: A Case Study Of Mavoko Law Courts, Machakos
This study set out to explore factors influencing dismissal of criminal cases in Kenyan Courts, with a specific focus on Mavoko Law Courts. This is due to a general feeling among Kenyans that Courts have failed the Criminal Justice System by arbitrarily dismissing criminal cases, thus, contributing to the perceived high crime rates in the county. The aim of was to find out why dismissal of criminal cases at Mavoko Law Courts can be attributed to corruption of witnesses by the accused persons, lengthy trials due to frequent court adjournments; and inefficiencies by the law enforcement Agency. The study therefore adopted a descriptive study design, in order to establish the factors responsible for dismissal of criminal cases. A sample size of 86 dismissed cases in the year 2013 at the Mavoko Law Courts was targeted by this study. Of the dismissed cases 70 victims who were contacted on phone availed themselves for the study. Of those that availed themselves, 14 cases were considered spoilt. As such, only 56 cases were valid for the present study. In addition 10 Key Informants (KI) namely magistrates, Advocates, Court Prosecutors, Police investigation officers and Court Clerks were interviewed. Descriptive statistics was used to present data in tables and figures. The study findings identified several in-efficiencies in the criminal justice system namely; lack of witnesses and lack of evidence; poor investigations, ineffective prosecutions and illegal confinement by the arresting agency. It was therefore concluded that the main cause of prosecution malpractices was inadequate training as well as delay in the criminal process. The study therefore recommends that prosecutors should be recruited from law graduates who are well versed in legal prosecution.
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