Pretrial (A)

Trial (B)

Post-Trial (C)

Detention (D)

The police service is the starting point of criminal justice in Ghana. Under the 1992 constitution of Ghana, a suspect cannot be detained for more than forty-eight hours without being brought before the court to be remanded or granted bail. Unfortunately, the result of this provision is for some arresting officers to beat a confession out of suspects, making it a situation where the facts are forced to fit a preconceived notion, despite the provision under section 120 of the Evidence Decree, 1975, NRCD 323 on the inadmissibility of involuntary confessions.

As human rights issue however, section 96 of the criminal procedure code 1990 Act 30 (herein after referred to as the CPC) provides for the distribution of the high court in granting bail in non-capital offenses during investigations, the people are engaged in the administrative function of detection and are relatively free from judicial control.

They will only have to resort to the judiciary when they need a warrant of arrest or search warrant or need extra detention time, and this is done by satisfying that magistrate by evidence on oath that such a warrant is necessary for effective investigations.

Having said that the police do not always have to have an arrest warrant before arresting a suspect. Section 10 of the CPC as amended provides for arrest without warrant. The

The allocation of function in the administration of criminal justice gives the Attorney General responsibility for, and control of, all prosecutions. Crimes requiring capital punishment can only be heard at the high court and not in the lower courts. Murder is a capital offence and is tried upon indictment after committal proceedings have been held at the district court. The judge sits with the aid of a jury of seven whose decision must be unanimous before the accused can be convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

Trial of murder cases can take anything between three to six months. October and ends in July.

Trial in Ghana begins with evidence being taken. The usual round of examination in chief, cross-examination and re-examination are done and the matter takes its natural course. The rules of court provide that appeals should be launched within of conviction and appeals are heard before a panel of three judges. The rule of court demand that an appeal be launched within one month of judgment and conviction, an application can be made to the appellate courts for extension of time. In murder cases due to the seriousness of the death penalty, often, extension of time will be granted so that the matter can be heard on its merits. In Ghana, there are no provisions on the statute books for parole. Due to the de facto moratorium on executions that exist in Ghana, the law allows however, for prisoners on the death row to appeal every five years for their sentences to be commuted or even for clemency. Several condemned prisoners have had their sentences to be commuted to life imprisonment through the right to appeal every five years. In the past years, the president of the republic of Ghana

Prisoners on death row are supposed to enjoy better conditions than the ordinary prisoner. They are isolated from the other prisoners and never allowed out of their high security prison compounds. These benefits include better meals, unlimited visitation rights and the liberty to write as many letters as one may with. The rationale is that being condemned to death, they need to be in as much contact with the outside world as possible and their last days on earth made as painless as possible. Information and statistics received from the poison series indicate that rarely do prisoners die from torture or other forms of inhumane treatment.

Death have been from natural causes such as diseases and ailments, a situation which aggravated by the overcrowding in the prisons. One can only imagine the state of congestion in the prison, death by natural causes notwithstanding. According to official information available, torture and other inhumane treatment are not permitted, and prisoners have recourse to various organizations for redress. These include

law provides that a person arrested, restricted or detained ought to be told the reason for placing him in such condition, and of his right to counsel. The courts require also of the police, during the detection stage to take a voluntary statement from the accused person. Any involuntary statement or statement extracted by the application of threat or force is inadmissible in court. (5.20 of the Evidence Decree) once sufficient evidence has been gathered, the suspect is charged and required to make his plea; bail is not granted to a person charged with murder section 96 (7) (a). When a charge is finally proffered against a suspect in a murder case he is required to make his plea. The Attorney General’s Department then prepares a bill of indictment and summary of evidence which is served on the accused person, who can then be brought before the court for trial.

granted amnesty to two thousand prisoners, one hundred and seventy-six of who were condemned prisoners.

the prison service council the Director General of Prisons, the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice, social welfare and the president of the Republic of Ghana.