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New Mass. Law Would Put 17-Year-Olds in Juvenile Court

(Photo: Iaritza Menjivar / Governor's Office)

(Photo: Iaritza Menjivar / Governor’s Office)

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick has signed into law a bill placing 17-year-olds accused of crimes under the jurisdiction of the state’s juvenile courts.

Currently in Massachusetts, 17-year-olds are treated as adults, regardless of the circumstances or severity of the offense.

Thirty-nine other states and the federal government use 18 as the age of adult criminal jurisdiction.

In cases of violent crimes, juvenile court judges would have the discretion to impose an adult sentence. The law also means 17-year-olds won’t receive an adult criminal record.

Patrick said the new law will give young people the chance to rehabilitate their lives while holding the most violent offenders accountable.

Supporters of the change say in almost all other legal matters in Massachusetts — including voting, entering into a contract and serving on a jury — 18 is the age of adulthood.

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  • tiredofthemedia

    There you go little boys and girls. Might as well kill now when your 17, then you’ll be free in a year and you can try it again. There you have it all you morons. Just keep voting in the same political hacks year after year. See Springfield is already on its way to being a better place.

  • tiredofthemedia

    You know I was thinking. You might as well just raise the age to let’s say 30 to be an adult. How bout that?

  • medic3

    Well this is horse pucky. They CLEARLY know the difference between right and wrong at 15-16, let alone 17. What next? They kill someone at 17, we hug them and serve tea and crumpets? Flipping bleeding heart liberals are driving this country straight to hell