New Zealand

New Zealand. 15-year-old boy receives life sentence for murder | New Zealand

A New Zealand The court sentenced a 15-year-old boy to life in prison for a murder committed when he was 14.

The sentencing coincides with a separate legal challenge to the country’s practice of sentencing children to life, which defenders say is “harmful and ineffective”.

The boy, whose name has been deleted, stabbed 22-year-old Bram Willems in Paihia last year. The attack happened after the couple spent an afternoon together, consuming alcohol and cannabis.

Outlining the facts of the case at Friday’s High Court sentencing, Judge Timothy Brewer said the defendant argued and stabbed Willems after the victim acted inappropriately towards the cousin of the teenager.

Media Stuff reported from the audience that Willems’ mother, Christy Lacroix, told the court, “You took a life worth living, a life I fought for, for 22 years. No excuse could justify taking a life.

Brewer said life imprisonment was appropriate in this case, despite the youngster’s age. He said youth was not an unusual feature of serious violence offenses and carried little weight against the public interest. He imposed a minimum period without parole of 10 years.

Separately, the appeals court is currently reviewing the cases of three convicted juvenile murderers who have appealed the life sentences. The case forms the basis of a wider challenge, asking whether it is ‘grossly unfair’ to sentence children and young people to life sentences.

Last year, in a joint statement, the Children’s Commissioner and academics in psychology and law called for an end to life sentences for children, calling them “harmful and ineffective”. The brains of children and adolescents are not fully developed, they argue, and so they should not bear the full criminal responsibility of adults.

“No child or adolescent should be convicted in the adult criminal justice system,” they wrote. “Punitive sentences for adults, such as life imprisonment and minimum periods without parole, should not be available to children and adolescents.”

New Zealand. 15-year-old boy receives life sentence for murder | New Zealand

Source link New Zealand. 15-year-old boy receives life sentence for murder | New Zealand

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