Marks: Court System Can Handle ‘Raise the Age’ Law

“At least initially, the Judiciary could handle the shifting burden if the state Legislature adopted Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to raise the age of criminality from 16 to 18, the state’s chief administrative judge said Tuesday.

Chief Administrative Judge Marks

Chief Administrative Judge Marks

NYLJ/Rick Kopstein

Judge Lawrence Marks, at a joint Assembly-Senate hearing on the 2017-18 state budget plan, said the court system has supported the “raise the age” initiative, both under former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman (NYLJ, Feb. 20, 2015) and current Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.

He said that while the Judiciary’s $2.18 billion spending plan sets aside no funding to accommodate a higher age of criminality, the Office of Court Administration could shift around resources to meet a higher number of criminal cases in Family Court involving 16- and 17-year-olds that are now heard in adult criminal courts. More Family Court judges would be needed, for example, but caseloads in adult Criminal Court would lessen.

“That’s a problem we would be happy to take on,” Marks said.

Only North Carolina and New York hold 16-year-olds responsible, in general, for crimes. Eight other states have a criminal responsibility age of 17.

Cuomo’s proposal would continue allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to be tried as adults for some violent felonies.”

Original Link (NY Law Journal):