Congress And Executive Branch Planning To Enact Stricter Penalties To Young Criminals

Recent recommendations by the Interinstitutional Comission For Penal Justice concerning reforms to how children and teenagers are treated by Honduras’s legal system are currently in the hands of the executive branch and the National Congress. It seems that these branches are planning to implement these reforms, which have generated controversy due to one of them suggesting stricter punishments against minors who commit crimes.

According to the Nationalist congressman Tomas Zambrano “A large percentage of serious crimes which seriously impact the nation are committed by children and teenagers.” In that sense the Congress will study the depth of the hardening of the penalties which could be affected by these reforms. That is why the commission recommends an amendment to the 205th article of the 3rd section of the penal code for children and teenagers which would increase a maximum sentence from 8 to 15 years for children and teens who commit crimes.

This reform would also create an adjustment to the penal sanctions confirming with the graveness of the crimes inflicted by children. Currently when children are 12 or 13 prison sentences cannot be longer than 5 years or shorter than 2. When a teenager is 14 or 15 the changes from no lesser than 4 years to no more than 10. Finally when teenagers are 16, 17, or 18 the prison sentences cannot be shorter than 8 years and cannot be longer than 15.

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