Consternation has replaced the public’s horror and rage following the tragic shooting rampage at Siam Paragon on October 3 when people learn that the 14-year-old offender cannot be held accountable.
According to Thai law, no kid under the age of 15 is subject to jail time or other forms of criminal punishment.
This fact raises a question, which is currently being widely asked all over Thailand: In such circumstances, who bears responsibility?
Three individuals were murdered and four injured in the mall incident.
Siam Paragon made compensation offers earlier this month of 5 million baht to each family of a deceased victim and 300,000 baht to each injured victim. For every person killed in the incident, the government is providing compensation totaling 1.2 million baht, and for every person injured, 50,000 baht. Other people have also offered assistance, such as Giffarine Skyline Unity Ltd., which has pledged one million baht to help the victims.
In the wake of the horrifying attack, the parents of the 14-year-old shooter—whose identity has been kept secret due to his age—have likewise promised to take full responsibility.
However, it’s unclear what the offender and his family will do to help the victims as of yet. At the victims’ funerals, the shooter’s father has already shown up to offer his sympathies and an apology to the surviving family members. With the statement that the family “intends to cooperate fully with the authorities in seeking the facts and to ensure that there is no repeat of the violent incident,” he has also rejected to file a bail request for his son.
In the interim, the boy has been admitted for psychiatric evaluation to the Galya Rajanagarindra Institute.
law pertaining to juvenile criminals
In Thailand, there are no criminal charges or penalties for minors under the age of twelve. While they may still be subject to court-imposed restrictions, children between the ages of 12 and 15 are nonetheless shielded from criminal prosecution. They could be placed on probation, for instance, or in a juvenile protection and observation center. In addition, parents or guardians who fail to enforce the terms of probation for youngsters in their care risk a fine of 1,000 Baht.
15 to 17-year-old juvenile offenders may face consequences. Even in the absence of a punishment, they can nevertheless be ordered to participate in rehabilitation. However, if a judge decides that they should face legal repercussions, their sentence—which includes jail time—will be reduced by half.
The Juvenile and Family Court and Juvenile and Family Case Procedure Act, the Child Protection Act, and the Civil and Commercial Code are three additional Thai laws that address offenses committed by juveniles.
While the second of these laws emphasizes the interests of children and punishes those who coerce, force, encourage, solicit, or allow children to violate laws, the first concentrates on preserving the rights and welfare of children and youth as well as correction and rehabilitation.
Both adults and juveniles are accountable for offenses against another person under the Civil and Commercial Code. A person shall be held liable under Article 420 if they unlawfully cause harm to another person’s life, body, health, liberty, property, or any other right. Minors and mentally ill individuals are not exempt from this law. Article 429 holds the offender’s parents or guardians accountable for their actions in addition to themselves, unless they can demonstrate that they did not violate their duty of care to the minor.
Parents are made to pay
In numerous instances, parents have faced consequences from the Civil Court due to harm or damage their children have caused.
The parents of a minor driver who caused a fatal tollway collision in 2019 had to pay more than 42 million baht in compensation. When the event occurred in 2010, the daughter was just sixteen years old. Since the parents did not stop her from using the car, they did not fulfill their duty of care.
Nine people were killed and four more were injured when the girl, who was allegedly driving the sedan without a license and using the phone, crashed into a van that was transporting students and personnel from Thammasat University. She received a three-year prison sentence, a suspended sentence, and a community service requirement of 192 hours.
By the General Desk of Thai PBS World