The woman died of her injuries two weeks later at a Singapore hospital.
Four adults in the case, which drew worldwide condemnation, were sentenced to death while the fifth hanged himself in prison. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) — passed by a vote — aimed to strike a balance between the rights of a child and the need to deter heinous juvenile crimes, especially against women."Juvenile crime is the fastest rising segment in the country and the bill will help to stop [this]," she said."The new law will decide whether a child committed the crime in a childish or adult frame of mind."However, Ms Gandhi acknowledged the legal decision would not change the outcome for the minor released."We can do nothing about that young man — he will come, he will go his own way in life, and God willing be a decent citizen afterwards, if it's possible," she said."But it will stop a large number of boys who have got into this."Ms Gandhi also told parliament the law needed changing because too many juveniles were committing heinous crimes in the knowledge that they could only be locked up for three years at the most."For instance, last week, a little girl, aged 7, was fed biscuits laced with drugs by three boys aged 16, who then took her to a field, kept her there for three days while repeatedly raping her," she said."Now, this in no way would be constituted as a child-like crime or committed by children."It has been thought out, it has been planned for and it has been executed in an adult-like manner."Current law defines a person under 18 as a juvenile and caps punishment at three years in a correctional home.
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Under the new law, 16- and 17-year-olds can be tried as adults, with corresponding sentences of up to life in prison or even the death penalty, depending on the severity of the crime.