13-Year-Old Student Murdered by Peers in Hebei

By Billy Jiang, March 20, 2024

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In a tragic turn of events, Hebei police announced on the evening of March 17 that a 13-year-old student from the province's Feixiang District was murdered on March 10, with all suspects apprehended by March 11.


Police statement on the murder investigation. Screenshot by That's

According to the police report, all three suspects involved in the case are between the ages of 12 and 14.

Per the Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, individuals aged 12 to less than 14 who commit intentional homicide or inflict severe injuries resulting in death or serious disability through exceptionally cruel means, and whose actions are deemed particularly egregious by the Supreme People's Procuratorate, shall bear criminal responsibility.

Legal experts specializing in juvenile crime explain that the amendment to the Criminal Law, which came into effect on March 1, 2021, lowered the minimum age of criminal responsibility from 14 to 12, with the additional procedural condition of approval by the Supreme People's Procuratorate for prosecution.

This means that only with approval from the highest procuratorate can a case proceed to the criminal justice system, where the court will determine guilt and sentencing. 

In China, minors are not subject to the death penalty. However, if the crime is deemed severe and the circumstances extremely grave, the maximum penalty can be life imprisonment or placement in a juvenile correctional facility.

The police report immediately sparked significant public debate. 

One prevalent viewpoint highlights the challenges of today's youth living in an era of pervasive internet connectivity, where information overload makes it increasingly difficult to discern whether a person, regardless of age, possesses the maturity and cognitive abilities beyond their years.

We invite you to share your perspectives on this matter, and stay tuned for more content related to mental health by following 'Beyond Shame' – A New Column by Lorraine Lee, Founder of Mental Health platform Inward Living and CEO of The Kindness Dealer, offering confidential and personalized consultations to help individuals gain insight into their struggles and the influences shaping their lives.

READ MORE: Introducing 'Beyond Shame' – A New Column by Lorraine Lee

To see all articles in the column 'Beyond Shame,' click here.

[Cover image via Unsplash]

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