Lawmakers OK bill to keep kids from adult court

Posted at 6:52 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 21:52:06-04

A bill to keep 14- and 15-year-olds out of adult criminal courts is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.
State senators passed the measure 22-15 Thursday. If Brown signs it, prosecutors could no longer ask to try minors suspected of committing serious crimes like murder, arson and robbery at 14 or 15 in adult court.
Sen. Ricardo Lara says his bill ensures children convicted of serious crimes can access rehabilitative services for juvenile offenders.
The Bell Gardens Democrat says the bill doesn’t exempt them from punishment but ensures they are treated fairly. He says the option to try juvenile defendants in adult court has been disproportionately used against black and Latino children.
Opponents of the measure argue 14- and 15-year-olds convicted in adult court are dangerous and deserve that punishment.