Extenuating Circumstances: A Life and Death Issue
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In Zimbabwe the death penalty is a mandatory sentence for murder where there are no extenuating circumstances. (The only exceptions are that the death penalty may not be imposed upon a pregnant woman or a person under the age of sixteen and the court has a discretion to impose a lesser sentence than death upon a mother who has - killed her newly born child.) The trial court is obliged to sentence to death in the absence of extenuating circumstances. ;0n. the other hand if it finds that there are extenuating circumstances the court has the discretion to Impose a sentence other than death. Thus, even if the court finds that there were extenuating circumstances, it could still proceed to. Impose the death sentence If, for instance, It concluded that the extenuating circumstances were -not strong and were far outweighed by the aggravating features.