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November 19, 2010

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Minor, 17, released under new procedures

A 17-year-old minor, surnamed Shan, was released immediately after an appeals court changed the first-instance judgment yesterday - under new measures to better protect the rights and interests of minors.

Shan, from east China's Anhui Province, was originally given a suspended sentence of one and a half years in prison for robbery in the final verdict made by the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court.

He worked with three former °?colleagues, all adults, to rob three people in April by demanding money with menaces in Jiading District.

The four were tried together after being arrested - all were found guilty.

The appeals court decided that Shan was a minor and should have been tried separately from his accomplices.

The court assigned social workers to deliver a report on the minor, which showed that Shan did not have a criminal record and he had dropped out of school at 13 to find work to help cover the medical costs of his sick father.

The court decided to put Shan on probation based on the report. A psychological test found that Shan was not an aggressive individual and was unlikely to pose a threat to the public, judges said.

As part of the conditions of the probation, he is required to report to a community judicial center once a month.

Shanghai Jiayi Auto Maintenance, Shan's employer before he was caught, agreed to offer him a job again.

"Shan is lucky since he will be taken back by his former employer. In practice, many children of migrant workers stay in prison because they can't find employers or schools to supervise them," said Zhang Hua, a judge at the juvenile court.


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