New York Considers Raising Age of Criminal Responsibility
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and juvenile justice reformers say New York should stop automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults.
Supporters of the change came to the state Capitol Tuesday to make their case to lawmakers. They want to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18, so all but the most violent 16- and 17-year-old offenders would be handled by the juvenile justice system.
New York and North Carolina are the only two states that still automatically treat 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, even though most offenders of that age face misdemeanor charges.
Critics say young offenders lack adult decision-making skills and shouldn't be prosecuted as if they did.
Cuomo says treating them as juveniles would help them get needed services and reduce the chances that they will re-offend.