Byson’s Story

by Katie Campbell, Caseworker – Death Penalty: Africa

Byson Kaula was carrying a sick employee down some stairs to help him to the bath and slipped. When Byson slipped, that man fell and died.

Because Byson slipped, he was sentenced to death.

Byson spent 23 years on Malawi’s death row, but he is now free and back home. He now takes care of his mother who is in her 80s and works at a halfway house, counselling other prisoners through their transition to life after prison. He says when he lived in prison, he was not himself – now that he is free, he feels that he is truly himself again.

Byson is only one of many people Reprieve helped get a second chance in Malawi. Reprieve’s investigators, lawyers and campaigners started working in Malawi following the repeal of the mandatory death penalty. We wanted to help Byson and over 150 others in his position take advantage of a second chance at life.

Byson’s story has a happy ending. I am incredibly proud of the role Reprieve played working with Byson and others like him who deserved real justice. But our work is not done yet. The death penalty is still used in Malawi, and Reprieve continue to work with partners there to prevent death sentences altogether.

There is a lot left to do to end the use of the death penalty around the world – but I know we can achieve this.