attorney generals office

Youth who killed abusive father released from custody

Officials have the option of not laying charges due to the circumstances

A México state teenager who killed his father after he admitted to sexually abusing him and his sister when they were children was released from police custody on Thursday.

Ángel Israel N. turned himself into authorities after he shot his father five times in the chest and face upon hearing his confession on Monday evening.

The state’s public prosecutor for minors said that according to the facts presented, the defendant was not found in flagrante, or caught in the act of committing the crime at the time he turned himself in.

The 15-year-old will undergo psychological therapy while a homicide investigation is underway.

According to lawyer Gabriel Regino, the responsibility of releasing a minor falls on the public prosecutor when the defendant is considered a victim and detention will only further victimize him or her.

He said the case should not be brought before a judge because the public prosecutor should apply the “criterion of opportunity,” which means that justice officials can choose not to charge a person if he or she has suffered serious psycho-emotional injury at the hands of the aggressor-turned-victim.

“There are two important factors at play here: the law, which is strict and must be applied, but also political will, which is the more complicated of the two . . .” said Regino. “If we take into account what the youth and his sister experienced, we should provide them the full support of the state.”

Regino also cited the criterion of “no enforceability of alternate conduct, which is when the authority . . . asks, ‘What would you have done?’ In this case, I believe that everyone, including the judge and prosecutor, would respond the same as what the majority of us are possibly thinking.”

However, the fact that the abuse was not occurring at the time of the crime could negate the arguments, resulting in a homicide conviction for the youth.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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