Youngsters may not fully understand wrongdoing

The fact that a minor could be held responsible for his crimes does not mean that he should be punished as harshly as an adult ("Being a minor no excuse for flouting the law" by Mr S. Ratnakumar; July 27).

Mr Ratnakumar states that it is an "insult to common sense" that a minor capable of planning and executing an act is unaware that he is doing wrong.

However, Dr Andy Ho's article ("It's true, teens can't be punished like adults"; July 18) implies that neuroscience suggests that this is exactly the case - a minor capable of committing an act might not be fully capable of understanding the wrongful nature and consequences of the same.

While I appreciate that minors may have to be made criminally liable, the law does consider the youth of an offender in mitigation.

We could potentially go further by exploring better ways of helping young offenders move ahead in life and giving them a second chance.

Wilson Foo