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Caging Children

17-Year-Old Japanese Boy Sentenced to Six Months Prison for Buying 2.61 grams of Marijuana

(10/21/2012) The drawn out saga of the teenage Japanese boy caught with a small bag (2.6 grams) of marijuana in his pocket outside a Denpasar gas station in August 2012 has drawn to an end with the Court handing down a six months jail sentence.

The verdict was less than the maximum allowed under law but more than the recommendation of the prison board who wanted the under-aged boy returned to his family for rehabilitation.

Judge Gunawan Tri Budiono said the six-month sentence followed by mandatory repatriation to his home country was the proper sentence given the damage the youth inflicted on Indonesia’s image, the boy’s age, his polite demeanor and dependence on the drug.

The boy was depicted to the court as a habitual user of drugs.

Yoshioka Ryusei, a 17-year- old minor, was arrested with 2.61 grams of drugs in his pocket.

Held in police custody since August, some experts had expressed the opinion that the boy’s parents could file an unlawful detention charge against the police and prosecutors for holding an under-aged boy in general custody, when the law stipulates special treatment for children.

The draws contrast to the recent trial of a 14-year-old Australian boy who was sentenced to just two months (time served) after being convicted in a juvenile court of marijuana possession. That case saw intense lobbying by Australian officials, including then Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd.

[A Year Up in Smoke]

[Academic Detachment]

[Graduation Delayed]