Eric Kojo Duah, the 37-year-old man who shot and killed two uniformed police officers on duty at Buduburam near Kasoa in 2019, has been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in hard labour by a High Court in Accra. This followed a decision by the accused to plead guilty to two counts of manslaughter after his lawyer negotiated a plea bargain with the Office of the Attorney General. The convict had pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and the prosecution had begun its case, calling its first witness before the transfer of the presiding judge, and the case was to restart by the re-empaneling of a new jury. But his lawyer, Augustine’s Obour on October 31, 2023, told the court the convict was willing to plead guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter as agreed with the prosecution and plead not guilty to the charge of murder levelled against him. The court, presided over by Justice Marie-Louise Simmons, asked the convict whether he understood the consequences of the decision and whether his lawyer had explained it to him and he said “yes, my lady.” The court then retook his plea, and he pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and not guilty to two counts of murder. The court, therefore, convicted him on his own plea and his counsel, Mr. Obuor, in his plea for mitigation prayed the court to give him shorter sentence so that he can come back to the community to continue his good deeds prior to his arrest. He said the convict was a first-time offender and until the incident was a responsible citizen, adding that the convict had learnt his lesson. Nana Ama Prempeh, a Senior State Attorney from the Office of the Attorney General, told the court that the prosecution found a great relief that the convict had admitted to the killing of two police officers who were in the line of duty. She said the offence is a grave one which should attract a punishment that is deterrent enough to like-minded persons. She also prayed the court to make the sentence take effect from the day of sentence in spite of the number of years the convict had spent in custody. Justice Simmons, in sentencing the convict, indicated that he did not show any form of remorse in the courtroom during the duration of the case. She said “the nature of the offence was such in my view, raising disrespect for authority. For a civilian to shoot two policemen on the street, not once but about twice each leading to their death. This is a threat to public safety and security.” The judge held that from the facts, the convict had actually committed some road traffic offence for which the police was pursuing him, and for him to have shot both of them on the street with onlookers was dangerous. She said she was obliged to take into consideration the public interest, which she did, and having considered all these including the sentencing guidelines, she sentenced Eric Kojo Duah to 20 years’ imprisonment on two counts of manslaughter to run concurrently. Justice Simmons was “unhappy that the Ghana Police Service since I took over has shown no interest in this matter.”