Sign the petition and call the committee members: bit.ly/NOHB217
Today youth from NC HEAT joined community members to overflow a committee hearing on HB 217. There was a line outside of the inadaquate public meeting space and the youth presence was known. The bill people mobilized against would remove judicial discretion for certain felonies allegedly committed by juveniles 13 years or older. Currently under North Carolina law, judges must consider whether probable cause exists that the juvenile committed the offense, and weigh the protection of the public and the best interests of the juvenile in determining whether to transfer the case to adult court. Just by a written motion, Section 7 of HB 217 gives prosecutors the power to prosecute juveniles 13 years or older in the adult criminal court system and strips juvenile court judges’ discretion.
The youth and community response to this measure has just begun. Youth feel that we need to be raising the age at which they can be tried as adults and not the other way around.