Peter Ouko:From being sentenced to death to becoming a law graduate

Peter Ouko was sentenced to death for murder 20 years ago.

Furthermore,he was sent to Kamiti maximum security prison, notorious for being one of the worst jails.

Ouko faced an endless wait for his executioner as he resigned himself to his fate, far away from his two young children and his old life.
He was accused of murdering his wife after her body was found near a police station in 1998.
Ouko rushed to the site of her body, only to find himself immediately arrested for her murder at the scene.
He believes he was framed.

He was sentenced to death in 2001.

But the arrival of one man to the Kenyan political scene in 2003 would drastically change Ouko’s fortunes and that of Kamiti prison.

Then vice president Moody Awori went and decided to change everything;

Outlawed torture and replaced the baton with the pen.

Moody treated the inmates well;

Providing mattresses and bedding for the prison service for the first time, as well as access to healthcare.

Most noteworthy,was the focus on prisoner education.


Newton Owino, the guy building a business selling fish leather products

Another,his sentence would later be commuted to life imprisonment by, then President Mwai Kibaki in 2009.

In 2014, Ouko became the first Kenyan inmate to earn a law diploma behind bars.

Similarly,studying behind bars was not easy.
Having to balance numerous court trips, writing appeals, pro-bono for his colleagues and advising on how to make their presentations in court.
In addition,being the most qualified among 2,000 inmates was daunting, but people outside the prison walls were demanding his service too.

Through African Prison Project’s Justice Changemaker training programme, Ouko was given the opportunity;

To study law and hence became the first inmate in Kenya to attain a Diploma in common law.

Likewise,his freedom came in October 2016.


Peter continues to support and advocate for those individuals who remain on remand.

Recently,Ouko received a standing ovation at TEDGlobal for his great work and efforts to restore hope, justice and dignity to the prison justice system.


Before,he participated in a TEDx conference at Kamiti prison.

Peter now works with APP as an ambassador representing worldwide.

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