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Friday, June 17, 2016

Weird news - Older boy kills younger one with a stone

In the case of adults attacking each other or one killing the other, the law is pretty clear on what action needs to be taken. The one who took the action leading to murder is prosecuted, where it can be determined whether this was done due to enmity or for some other purpose, whether it was in self-defense or in the heat of the moment, or was done with a lot of planning and then the punishment is done based on all these factors.
However, all of these make a basic premise. It is only when somebody becomes an adult, that is, he or she reaches the age of 18 that their minds are developed enough to know what they are doing. So, only an adult can take responsibility for any crimes that they may do, and hence a child cannot be punished the same way. This is incorporated into the laws of most countries, although some countries do make exceptions where the gravity of the crime and the way it is done enables making the final judgment about whether adult laws can be applied on children.
It remains tricky. What do you do when a child in school becomes violent and attacks somebody the same age as them or younger, and even kills the other person. Just a couple of years is not enough to make a difference in terms of development. So, there is an argument that just because somebody is 17 years old and commits a planned murder, they cannot be spared just because they were 17, and not a year older. If you take the current crime, what can be done ? (link to article)
On Wednesday morning the two boys reached schoo at 8.15am. Even before classes began, the duo got into a fight. "The boys reside in the same area in Karumarapa layam, and travel to school on the same bus," a senior police officer told TOI. "As the fight escalated, the boys began beating each other up. The older boy attacked the deceased with a stone on his forehead," said a police official on the case. In the impact, the 6-year-old collapsed, hitting another stone on the ground. "The fall killed him," said the official. The incident happened near the boys' toilet. Two other students had spotted the Class 6 boy leaving the toilet, police said. The juvenile in conflict with law was produced before the judicial magistrate on Wednesday evening, and was remanded to custody . "He will be sent to a juvenile home," a police official said.
Now, even though the child died in a fall, the fall happened because he was hit by the older boy and hence there is a responsibility for the crime, but under most existing laws, the older boy can be tried as a juvenile rather than be charged with murder.

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