Kasoa murder: 7 Member jury for trial of teenage suspects

The Criminal Jurisdiction of the Accra High Court has empanelled a seven-member jury for the trial of two teenagers accused of the murder of a 10-year-old boy in Kasoa for money rituals.
That was after the court, presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo, took the pleas of the teenagers, a 15-year-old boy (name withheld) and his alleged accomplice, who is 18 years old.

The jury is made up of five women and two men.

The two suspects objected to the inclusion of three persons from the pool of potential jurors before settling on the seven.


Not guilty

While the 15-year-old suspect has confessed to their involvement in the murder from the District Court, the 18-year-old suspect has, however, denied his involvement.

However, taking their pleas on charges of conspiracy and murder before the trial court last Tuesday, the 15-year-old suspect pleaded guilty to the charge or conspiracy but pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder.


The 18-year-old suspect on the other hand pleaded not guilty to both charges.

The court, however, entered a plea of not guilty for the 15-year-old suspect.

That was because the offence was conspiracy to murder and as a result, had to be tried by the jury.

The charges were read to them in their preferred local languages.


Jury

The jury is made up of seven ordinary, but educated persons, who, subject to the directions of the judge, decide the guilt or innocence of an accused in a case tried upon indictment.

After the seven-member jury had been empanelled, they were sworn in and they chose one of their own as a leader (foreman).

They are expected to arrive at a unanimous verdict which is binding on the court.

Advise

The presiding judge advised the jury to be present in court at all times to listen to, see and hear the witnesses that will be called by the prosecution in their quest to establish the guilt of the accused persons.

“You are not supposed to be influenced by anything you hear or see relating to this matter on social media or in the society.

“You are only bound by the evidence that you hear or see in this courtroom,” the presiding judge said.

Justice Marfo also urged them to comport themselves inside and outside of the courtroom diligently.

“You must not be influenced with money or any other consideration whatsoever.

“The court expects maximum cooperation from you as far as timing and dates are concerned.

“The court will not hesitate to apply the necessary legal sanction to any recalcitrant juror,” she added.

Next sitting

At the next sitting slated for October 24, 2022, counsel for the accused are expected to address the jury on their expectation in the case while the prosecution addresses the jury on its case after which counsel for the accused persons will be given the chance to respond, paving the way for the trial to officially commence.

Meanwhile, the investigator in the case is expected to file the report on the investigation of the notice of alibi filed by the 18-year-old suspect through his lawyers.

Source: graphiconline

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