Where the prosecution fails to prove motive, the death penalty should not be awarded. Confessions obtained without regard to due process are absolutely inadmissible. The Court may consider the particular sociocultural context of the defendant as a relevant mitigating factor.
Mitigating factors that prevent the imposition of the death penalty include: (1) lack of premeditation – which can be evidenced by the incident occurring at the ‘spur of the moment’; (2) failure to inflict repeat injuries where there was opportunity to do so; (3) co-accused received a lesser sentence; and (4) lack of clarity about who inflicted the fatal injuries. Further, a death sentence should be commuted to life where the accused has already served a full life term of imprisonment (25 years), giving rise to the ‘expectancy of life’ doctrine.