Lawyer rejects juror because of social media influence

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There was drama at an Accra High Court when a lawyer objected to the selection of a female juror on the basis that she was young and could be influenced by social media.

Mr. Yaw Danquah, objected to the seventh jury in the case of Daniel Asiedu, aka, Sexy Dondon, and Vincent Bossu, aka, Junior Agogo, both traders, when the Court was empaneling the jury for trial.

The two are being held for their alleged involvement in the murder of the former legislator, J.B.Dankwa Adu, at his residence at Shiashie, Accra in February 2016.

Mr. Danquah said “The juror is young and she may spend time on social media, facebook, twitter and Instagram. Our greatest fear is that she would not have a sound mind to ensure her sole purpose to be fair and treat this case on the facts and evidence.

“We believe her conscience and decision would be tainted and influenced by social media which would cause her to be biased and prejudicial. We object to the jury before us.”

Mrs. Sefakor Batsa, Principal State Attorney, who led prosecution, opposed to defence counsel’s grounds of objection, adding that Section 251 of Act 30 spells out circumstances under, which a jury would be biased.

According to Mrs. Batsa, defence counsel’s objection was based on “speculations” and there was no guarantee that the older ones would not do the same.

“In any case the court would be guided by the evidence led and not what transpired on social media. Under these circumstances the objection should be dismissed,” the Principal State Attorney argued.

In a brief moment, Mr. Danquah withdrew his objection.

The Court then sworn in the seven-member jury made up of four males and three females.

The trial Judge, Mrs. Justice Lydia Osei- Marfo, congratulated the jury and told them that they would be in charge of the facts from the prosecution against the accused.

“You are expected to be fair and diligent in your decision in so far as this trial is concerned. You are reminded that you are only bound by the evidence that shall be led in court by the prosecution in court and not those evidence led outside as a result of public opinion, social media, speculations, emotions and whatever reason.
“The accused persons are hereby put in your charge and the court expects you to cooperate with us to have this matter disposed of expeditiously,” the Court said.

Asiedu and Bossu are being held for their alleged involvement in the murder of the former legislator at his residence in February 2016 at Shiashie, Accra.

Asiedu pleaded not guilty to the charge of conspiracy, robbery and murder.

His accomplice, Bossu, has also denied the charge of conspiracy.

The two have been remanded into prison custody to reappear on March 16 for Case Management Conference.


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