A boy in China molested and killed a girl, according to the law, she cannot go to prison



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A boy in China molested and killed a girl, according to the law, she cannot go to prison



A 13-year-old boy from China who confessed to killing a 10-year-old girl will not be charged with the crime but sent to a rehabilitation center, CNN reports. This case has opened a wide debate in China on how to sanction young offenders.

Specifically, under Chinese criminal law, children between the ages of 14 and 18 can be prosecuted if they have committed acts such as murder, rape, drug dealing, robbery or arson. But those under the age of 14 can neither be charged nor punished as criminals. They either return them to their parents or, less often, send them to juvenile correctional facilities, Michelle Miao, a criminal law expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told CNN.



A 14-year-old confessed to the murder of an 11-year-old girl

The killing that shook China happened on October 20 in Dalian City. That Sunday, his older brother took the unhappy girl to a drawing class at one o'clock in the afternoon. The girl had to return home for about three hours, and when she did not arrive, her parents realized that something was wrong and went looking for her. They found her dead body near the house and called police who arrested the 13-year-old the same day. After questioning, he confessed to the killing, China Daily reports.

The father of the murdered girl told local media that the 13-year-old brought his daughter home, sexually assaulted her, stabbed her with a knife and hid her body in the woods.

Police said the boy could not be charged because he was under 14 years old. Specifically, under Chinese criminal law based on the 'doli incapax' principle, children cannot be judged as adults because they are not mature enough to understand what is wrong with what they have done.

Young killer received three years in correctional facility

The boy was therefore sent to a youth correctional center for three years. Miao said the sentence was “a relatively strict measure because it involves restricted movement and is similar to prison.”

This case has sparked much debate in China. “The girl was killed, but the demon who killed her is protected,” one of the many comments on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, said.

“It doesn't matter if the person is 10 or 70 years old. Age should not be an excuse for crimes, ”“ There should be no age restriction on serious criminal cases, ”are some of the comments, which call for a harsher sentence for the young killer.

Miao explained that following this horrific case, two opinion camps have been created in the Chinese public – those who believe the killer should be punished regardless of age, and those who point out the perpetrator's rights given his age and the possibility of rehabilitation.

China – One of the countries that protects the rights of juvenile offenders

With a limit of 14 years for criminal offenses, China is one of the countries that advocates for the rights of child offenders and the possibility of their rehabilitation. Most European countries allow prosecutions of 12 to 16 years, with the exception of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Switzerland, where the limit is 10 years.

But in many other countries the limit is even lower. In North Carolina, it is six years old, and in another 19 U.S. states, it is between seven and 11 years old. There are seven in India, Singapore, Brunei and Malawi, and eight years in Zambia and Kenya.

According to the recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the minimum age should be 12 years.

In the past year, several underage children have killed their loved ones in China

But in China, after a series of homicides committed by minors, demands have been made to tighten the law recently.

In March 2019, a 13-year-old boy was beaten to death in Jiangsu after an altercation. He was sent home and assigned a guard until the state decides what to do with him as he cannot be charged under the law.

Last December, a 12-year-old boy in Hunan stabbed his mother to death. This case also provoked public outrage because the child was allowed to return to school nine days after the murder. The same month, another 13-year-old in Hunan admitted to police that he had killed both parents with a hammer. He too was released and allowed to return to school.

China is considering tightening the bill

None of these children have been charged because Chinese law does not allow it. But the Chinese ruling party has announced changes to the law. The day after the Dalian girls were killed, they announced that they would consider proposing new laws to protect minors and laws to prevent delinquency in young people.

These proposals would introduce three levels of offenses from misconduct to serious crimes, and punishments would also be applied to children under 14 years of age. With the new legal measures, children under the age of 14 could be sent to special schools for juvenile delinquents, instead of returning them without any penalty.

A boy in China molested and killed a girl, according to the law, she cannot go to prison

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