Punishable Crime Age May be Reduced

The proposal to reduce the punishable age to be tried as an adult for a crime from 18 years of age to 16 years, will be officially decided by the three branches of government.

The initiative establishes that many children are used by organized crime to commit offenses because they will not be held fully accountable due to their age. Honduran law specifies that children under age 18 are not criminally responsible, something regulated by the Code of Children and Adolescents, as well as international treaties and agreements signed by Honduras.

The proposal is that those over 16, rather than 18, who break the law are to be punished as if an adult.

It is anticipated that the plan will be presented on Monday, when the presidents of each branch of government (Executive, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, Legislative, Juan Orlando Hernandez, and Judiciary, Jorge Rivera Avilez), hold their usual meeting.

The proposal involves amendments to the Constitution of the Republic, Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code and the Code of Childhood and Adolescence. It also addresses several changes, such as the lowering of the punishable age from 18 to 16 years, repealing the provision which grants house arrest at age 60 for those charged with crimes, and a life term for those who commit crimes against judges, prosecutors or police.

The document will also be discussed by the Plenary of Judges of the Supreme Court (CSJ) who may later present a bill before Congress.

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