Raising the age for teen conviction in New York

By Brandi Bailey

April 11, 2014 Updated Apr 11, 2014 at 6:56 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo called for the Commission on Youth, Public Safety, and Justice to give concrete information on the state's youth criminal records by the end of the calender year.

Cuomo hopes to raise the age in which a teen can be tried as an adult.

New York is one of the only two states in America that tries a 16 year old as an adult.

Governor Cuomo calls it not fair and says it prevents youths from becoming productive adults.

"They're often times dealing with mental health issues; they wind up re-offending because of their experiences. They're often times kept in solitary confinement," Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said.

Lupardo emphasized the point that a majority of the crimes juveniles commit are misdemeanors and a judge should be the one to decide whether a minor is tried as an adult.

Some local law enforcement disagree. Broome County Sheriff David Harder said if you're 16 and commit an adult crime, then you should be treated as such in court.

"I don't believe Family Court can handle the workload. It's buried now with the workload and it shows every day. They give people like 10 minutes and then they're done," Harder stated.

Sheriff Harder mentions that even in adult correctional facilities, programs like the 'Youthful Offenders Status' can seal a person's record under the age of 18, based on the severity of the crime.

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