Assembly digs in on court jurisdiction in Raise the Age debate
“In a Tuesday radio interview, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie did not waver from support of the Assembly’s proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old, maintaing that primary jurisdiction for 16- and 17-year-old offenders should be family court, not a separate adolescent diversion court.
“We should not really be looking to come up with more ways to have a more than 14 and 15 but still less than 18 (years old) class because then we’re not raising the age of criminal responsibility to when you should be considered an adult,” he said on WCNY’s “The Capitol Pressroom.” “At 18 you can do things other than drink. You can vote, you can defend the country, you can have a drivers license, you can buy a pack of cigarettes. So why when they do something wrong, should they be treated like an adult?”
There is willingness to discuss the idea of raising the age at the Capitol. The two main sticking points heading into serious budget negotiations likely will be the primary jurisdiction and the list of crimes that will be tried in what courts.
Generally, the raise the age rhetoric has centered on the idea that the policy would apply to non-violent youth offenders.
The Senate, which is controlled by Republicans who have a coalition with a band of Democrats who want raise the age passed, will include raise the age in its one-house budget, NY1 reported Monday. But what exact detail Senate Republicans will outline is unclear.
“Well, the governor has proposed, as you know, and other legislative leaders have identified it as a priority, so we are obligated to discuss it,” Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Erie County, told NY1. “But I don’t think you’ll see much detail beyond a commitment to discussing it.”
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