The two Kasoa boys who have been charged with the murder of a 10-year-old, Ishmael Mensah Abdullah are to face a three-year jail term if found guilty.
This is because as set out in Juvenile Justice Act, the two accused persons – a 15-year-old juvenile and an 18-year- young offender cannot be tried as adults.
On Thursday, May 12, 2022, when the case was called in court for the jury to be empanelled, Justice Lydia Osei Marfo who presided over the court said the accused persons will no longer be tried by a jury due to their ages.
“Before today, I had stated we were going to empanel the jury. However, looking at the ages of the accused – one being 18 and the other being 15 and considering the Juvenile Justice Act, it may not be necessary to have them tried by jury,” Justice Lydia Marfo stated.
The Juvenile Justice Act, 2003, Act 653 states that: “a young offender means a person is 18 years or above 18 years but is under 21 years.”
According to the court, “the eldest amongst them is still a young offender under the Juvenile Justice Act.
“And in the case before us neither offence if he is found culpable, is likely to be sentenced a maximum of three years under the juvenile justice Act.”
For this reason, the court adjourned the case to May 26 to enable the court set out parameters for the trial of accused persons who will be tried summarily.
The trial is expected to be conducted within six months under the law.
The two accused persons are said to have killed their friend for ritual money.
The two were present in court with their lawyers Samuel Atuah and Martin Kpebu. While Anastasia Karim, held brief Nana Adoma Osei for the prosecution.