China lowers age of criminal liability to 12 for some crimes

BEIJING (AP) — China has lowered the age of criminal responsibility for some serious crimes from 14 to 12, as it looks to combat juvenile crime committed by children. Under an amended law, children aged 12 to 14 will be held criminally liable for “intentional homicide or intentional injury that leads to death or causes others severe disabilities by extremely cruel means.” The amendment, which was passed on Saturday by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature, will take effect on March 1. Those under the age of 14 who commit crimes apart from those mentioned in the newly amended law will be exempt from criminal punishment, but could be given correctional education.

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