30 July 2020 :
Magai Matiop Ngong on 29 July 2020 was removed from death row following the South Sudan Court of Appeal’s decision on 14 July to quash the death sentence imposed on him because he was a child at the time of the crime.
The Court sent his case back to the High Court to rule on an appropriate sentence.
When Magai was 15 years old, he got into a physical fight with a neighbor. When his cousin tried to stop the fight, Magai took his father’s gun and fired warning shots to the ground. One bullet bounced off the ground and hit his cousin, who later died in hospital.
Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena said:
“We welcome the Court of Appeal’s decision to quash Magai Matiop Ngong’s death sentence because under South Sudan and international law a child cannot be sentenced to death. Magai is one of the lucky ones. At least two other people, who were children at the time of the crime, have been executed in the country since May 2018; their lives extinguished as well as all the hopes their families had for them.
"The South Sudanese government must fully comply with national and international laws which prohibit the use of the death penalty against anyone below 18 years of age at the time the crime was committed. The authorities must abolish this cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment."