The Woman Who Escaped the Death Penalty

Lecture by Susan Kigula
Monday 18 Oct 2021, 19:30 - 21:00
Spoken Language

Erasmus Paviljoen (sold out) and online

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Jan Banning

More than 25,000 people are on death row worldwide right now with about 650 executions being carried out yearly. How does it feel to end up in such a cell? What do you think about when you know that any day could be your last? In the lecture The Woman Who Escaped the Death Penalty, the Ugandan Susan Kigula tells her story. She spent 19 years on death row, studied law there, and then got herself and fellow prisoners out of death row.

In the Netherlands, the death penalty was already abolished by 1870 and the constitution and conventions make it impossible to re-introduce this penalty. In many countries, however, such as the US, China, and Egypt, the death penalty is still an accepted form of punishment. So, for a part of the world's population, it is still a daily reality. This is also the case in Uganda. What do you do then, when you are sentenced to death row? Do you accept your fate? Or do you fight it?

In 2002, Susan Kigula was found guilty of murdering her husband and subsequently sentenced to death. She spent years on death row without knowing when (or if) the sentence would be carried out. Behind bars, she studied law, challenged the state, and was released in 2019 after years of litigation. Now she stands up for those sentenced to death as her fight against the death penalty continues.

The event will be introduced and moderated by prof. mr. Jolande uit Beijerse (ESL), Professor of Judicial Youth Interventions and Associate Professor of Criminal Law. After a brief introduction to the theme, she will give the floor to Susan Kigula to tell her story. Afterwards, there will be the possibility to ask questions.

Photographer Jan Banning took pictures of death row inmates and cell complexes for his Law & Order series. He made portraits of Susan Kigula when she was in prison and just after her release.


More information

Date: 18 – 10 – 2021
Time: 19:30 – 21:00 Doors open: 19:00
Location: Erasmus Paviljoen, Woudestein (sold out) and online
Entrance: Free, please sign up via our ticket shop.

COVID check
For this program we kindly ask you to show your COVID Certificate at the entrance with the CoronaCheck app. Please visit this page for all applicable corona measures at the Erasmus University.

Image by Jan Banning

This lecture was instigated in collaboration with Paula en Jan Banning/HAL (Holland Amerika Lijn) and is organized by Studium Generale, JFR (Juridische Faculteitsvereniging Rotterdam), en CIA (Criminologie In Actie).

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