Boy who killed his mom released, may return to school without punishment. Is it fair?

BY SILVI WRITER AND CHINA DAILY

The possible return to school of a 12-year-old sixth grader who killed his mother has sparked concern among his classmates’ parents.

The boy surnamed Wu, having initially been taken into custody for the killing, was released without punishment.

Wu, from Yuanjiang in central China’s Hunan province, killed his mother with a kitchen knife after she beat him for discovering that Wu had stolen and smoked all the cigarettes she brought home from banquets on the night of December 2.

The murder was not discovered until the afternoon of December 3 when Wu’s grandfather became suspicious and checked Chen’s bedroom from a window, seeing blood across the room and Chen’s body lying on the floor.

Given that Chinese law holds 14 to be the statutory age for criminal responsibility, local police released Wu without criminal punishment.

“He is too young for us to do anything about him,” said local police.

Wu has shown no signs of remorse, according to local media.

When asked if he thought it was wrong to kill his mother, Wu said:

“I’m wrong, but I killed my mother, not someone else.”

When Wu’s family tried to return him to school on December 6 however, his classmates’ parents expressed strong opposition, saying that that “he might commit other crimes in school”.

According to Chinese criminal law, when children under the age of 16 commit crimes and cannot be prosecuted as adults, they can be sent to government-run shelter and rehabilitation centers.

Many provinces don’t however have proper shelter and rehabilitation centers for children under 14 years old, and the laws on detention centers are rarely enforced, said a commentary piece on thepaper.cn.

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Wu displayed abnormal behavior since he suffered head injuries between the ages of seven and eight years old, according to his grandfather.

According to Chinese mental health law, those diagnosed with mental diseases are subject to compulsory medical treatment.

The local government said they already have “a complete proposal” on how the boy’s schooling and life would be arranged, but declined to reveal any detail.

“We care more about how to protect this boy,” a government official was quoted as saying by local Chinese media.

Such tragedy wasn’t alone in China in recent years.

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On Dec 1, 2017, a 13-year-old boy in the town of Dazhu, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, also killed his mother for her being over strict, the similar reason shared by Wu.

A 14-year-old boy from Xuancheng of central China’s Anhui province killed his mother for the same reason, in July 2017.

In Sep 2016, a 16-year-old girl from northeastern China’s province of Heilongjiang tied her mother on a chair, beat her and tortured her mother to death.

It is irresponsible to release a juvenile into society just days after he brutally murdered his own mother, said the commentary piece on thepaper.cn.

 

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