Laws on capital punishment for minors to be amended

Cabinet has approved a proposal to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure Act on capital punishment for minors, the Government said today.

Cabinet has approved a proposal to amend existing laws to ensure the death sentence is not given on those under the age of 18.

The Government noted that under Article 53 of the Penal Code the death sentence shall not be pronounced on or recorded against any person who, is under the age of eighteen years; at the time of the commission of an offence by such person.

The court shall, in lieu of sentencing such person to death, sentence him to be detained in an institution established under any written law for the detention of persons under the age of eighteen years, for a period specified in the sentence and subject to the provisions of such written law.

Meanwhile, Section 281 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act states “Where any person convicted of an offence punishable with death, appears to the court to be under the age of eighteen years, the court shall pronounce on that person in lieu of the sentence of death the sentence provided by section 53 of the Penal Code.”

The Cabinet approved a proposal to amend the Section 281 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act to remove existing uncertainty. (Colombo Gazette)