What If It Wasn’t Kato Who Raped Diana? Representing the Yearning for Justice in As I Stood Dead Before the World: Creative Writing from Luzira Prison (2018)
Keywords:conviction; innocence; justice; injustice; judicial system
The article examines how selected works in Uganda’s first anthology of prison-authored work, As I Stood Dead before the World: Creative Writing from Luzira Prison (2018), handle one of the issues of paramount importance to inmates and their families: the possibility that convictions in courts of law are not foolproof since judicial officers are human beings and therefore susceptible to error. Drawing from four examples: two poems (Jackson O’s “Letter to Aber” and Sebuuma Gadafi’s “Twenty-Years”), one short story (Rachael Pearl Orishaba’s “A Secret”), and one short play (Jennifer Janette’s “What If It Wasn’t Kato?”), I show how different inmates imagine situations where judicial officers (prosecutors and magistrates/judges) make errors of judgement that see innocent people convicted of crimes they did not commit. The article closely reads the four selected pieces with the objective of investigating how creative writers can help judicial officers realise how important it is to turn every proverbial stone before a conviction is made.