What would have happened to juvenile convict in Delhi rape case other countries

What would have happened to juvenile convict in Delhi rape case other countries

By: || Updated: 23 Dec 2015 07:57 AM
New Delhi: If the juvenile who participated in the fatal gang-rape of a paramedic on a Delhi bus three years ago were British, American, Japanese or South African, he would have been unlikely to get away with three years' detention while his adult accomplices were sentenced to hang.

Here is how he may have fared in some of these countries:


When Sanna Ibrahim, 18, was sentenced to 14 years in September for egging on three other teens to commit a drug-related street murder, the youngest of the accomplices - a 14-year-old boy - received a 12-year term.

Unlike India's legal system, which prescribes at most three years' detention at an observation home for under-18 offenders whatever the gravity of the crime, Old Bailey did not make a sharp distinction between the adult and minor convicts.

Tariq Williams-Dawodo, 17, and Tre Morgan, 18, were handed terms of 18-and-a-half years and 16 years. The only concession the 14-year-old received, apart from the slightly shorter prison sentence, was that he was not named.

He and Tariq were sent not to adult prisons, though, but to young offenders' detention centres. On release, they would be given a new identity, as has been accorded to the Indian convict, who was 17 and a half when he committed the crime on December 16, 2012.

British law states that "a court can give a young person (aged 10-17) a custodial sentence if the crime is so serious there is no other suitable option; the young person has committed crimes before; and the judge or magistrate thinks the young person is a risk to the public".

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, two 10-year-olds, in 1993 became the youngest convicted murderers in modern English history and were sentenced to custody until they reached adulthood. They had killed a two-year-old boy.


An American court, faced with the Beltway snipers John Allen Muhammad, 42, and Lee Boyd Malvo, 17, who shot dead 17 people in 2002 across eight states driving a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice sedan, made just one allowance for the teen's age.

While handing Muhammad the death penalty, the court sentenced Malvo to six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Most US states have fixed the age of juvenility between 16 and 18, but many of them allow minors to be tried as adults for serious crimes, such as murder, robbery with a weapon, and rape.

The age at which a juvenile can be tried as an adult is 13 in New York and Illinois, and 14 in California, Florida and Texas.

Other countries

Japan and the Netherlands are among nations that allow juveniles to be handed a life sentence, which can extend to 20 years. This may include forced labour in Japan, where a minor can be sentenced to 15 years even for less severe offences.

In France and South Africa, anyone aged 16 or above can be tried as an adult for a serious crime. In Germany and Canada, the cut-off is 14 years.

Switzerland is one of the most lenient countries, allowing a maximum one-year detention for juvenile offenders and without any provision for them to be tried as adults.

At the other extreme, Iran executed two 17-year-olds a couple of months ago for murder, amid protests by global rights activists.

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