Bill Would Stop Prosecuting 16 And 17-Year-Olds In Adult Court
The North Carolina House announced bipartisan legislation Wednesday that aims to stop prosecuting some teens in adult court.
North Carolina is one of only two states in the nation where 16- and 17-year-olds are tried as adults; the other is New York. Wednesday's proposed legislation allows for older teens accused of misdemeanors and non-violent felonies to instead be tried in juvenile court.
Measures like House Bill 280 have been filed in the general assembly before.
The difference this time? Chief Justice Mark Martin put together a commission to recommend the change. State law enforcement also supports it.
Supporters of the bill say it prevents teens from being saddled with adult criminal records that could cause them problems later in life.
The bill also proposes regular juvenile justice training for law enforcement officers, and the establishment of a juvenile jurisdiction committee.