The Prisons Council usually recommends those they believe should be pardoned by the President
President John Mahama has granted amnesty to 900 prisoners including a 92-year-old man as Ghana marks Republic Day on July 1.
In a statement from the Interior Ministry, it said the presidential pardon was granted based on ill health, advanced age and satisfactory behavior of inmates.
The 900 pardoned prisoners include 883 first offenders of good behavior who have served half or more of their sentences, one elderly prisoner, and one prisoner who is very ill.
Also fourteen prisoners on death row who have served at least ten years have had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, and one prisoner sentenced to life imprisonment who has served ten years has had his sentence commuted to a definite term of 20 years.
The president, according to the Interior Ministry statement, has asked them to conduct themselves properly to avoid breaking the law again.
The President also urged the general public and families of beneficiaries to receive the pardoned prisoners back and help integrate into society.
He said the pardoned prisoners should be assisted to live meaningful lives and contribute to society.
Article 72 of the Constitution states that “The president may, acting in consultation with the Council of State: grant to a person convicted of an offence a pardon either free or subject to lawful conditions; or discount low price
b. grant to a person a respite, either indefinite or for a specified period, from the execution of punishment imposed on him for an offence; or
c. substitute a less severe form of punishment for a punishment imposed on a person for an offence; or
d. remit the whole or part of a punishment imposed on a person or of a penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to Government on account on any offence.”
The Prisons Council usually recommends those they believe should be pardoned by the President.