Two days ago, we had to scramble for a legal explanation in Akuapem Poloo’s legal case.
The court had convicted her on three charges after she pleaded guilty to all of them.
The reports also added that the judge had ordered Akuapem Poloo to take a pregnancy test before she was sentenced today.
She did take the test and based on the 90 days in jail sentence she got, it means her test was negative.
When the news broke, a lot of people asked why she was asked to take a pregnancy test.
Some even assumed that she was using pregnancy in her defence in hopes of getting a lenient sentence.
That was not the case.
It is actually part of the normal court process and it is required by law.
According to the Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (ACT 30) any woman who is found guilty of an offence must take a pregnancy test – a positive result does have an impact on the sentencing.
Section 313A of the Criminal Producer act mentioned above addresses this. You can read it in full below:
Section 313A—Pregnant Woman Convicted of a Non-capital Offence.
(1) Where a woman is convicted of a non-capital offence, the court shall order that the woman be tested for pregnancy unless the court has reasonable grounds to believe that the woman is post-menopausal.
(2) If the woman tests positive for pregnancy, the court shall pass on her a non-custodial sentence or may suspend the sentence for such period as it may determine.
(3) If the sentence is suspended, the court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language that if another offence is committed during the period of the suspension she will be liable to serve the sentence for the original offence in addition to the sentence for the new offence.
It is because of the above that Akuapem Poloo had to undergo the test. The pregnancy test request was not peculiar to her case and had nothing to do with her person.
However, if she had been pregnant when the test was conducted, she would have gotten a suspended sentence.
This basically means that the judge would have still sentenced her to prison, however, she wouldn’t have actually set a foot in prison to serve her time.
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