This thesis considers capital punishment, corporal punishment and mandatory minimum sentencing in Botswana and the continued usefulness of these three sentencing options.
The thesis adopts a comparative approach. Firstly, the thesis examines the abolition of capital punishment in South Africa, and the United Kingdom, as well as inroads made in the manner of application of capital punishment in retentionist commonwealth Caribbean states. Secondly, the process leading to prohibition of judicial corporal punishment in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, England and Wales, as well as the United States is analysed. Thirdly, the thesis considers mandatory minimum sentencing in South Africa, England and Wales and Australia. The imposition of judicial corporal punishment on juvenile offenders is also examined. Alternative sanctions that may replace these sentencing options are investigated.
The findings are that the selected sentencing options fall short of international human rights standards and, in particular the right to life and the right to human dignity. The primacy of these rights is notable in sentencing law and practice of each comparative jurisdiction.
The promovenda identifies current barriers to dispensing with these sentencing options in Botswana. Drawing from the comparative jurisprudence, she proposes how Botswana may successfully achieve abolition of the death penalty, prohibition of judicial corporal punishment and improvement of the mandatory minimum sentencing regime. Recommendations are also made for suitable alternative sanctions such as life imprisonment, correctional supervision and restorative justice approaches to sentencing of adult and juvenile offenders, which, if incorporated, will advance sentencing law in Botswana.