Bill changing adult prosecution to 18+ up for committee vote
BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults, and it's been a non-discussion in the state Legislature for 108 years.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has joined lawmakers and advocates in seeking to raise the adult threshold by one year. He says 17-year-olds shouldn't be automatically charged and jailed as adults without consideration to their offense.
The Democratic governor said all nine states that treat the teenagers as adults regardless of charge have pending legislation to raise the age. In Louisiana, the proposal comes from New Orleans Sen. J.P. Morrell, a Democrat.
The Senate Judiciary B Committee is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to advance the proposal to the full Senate for debate.
District attorneys would maintain their discretion to prosecute juveniles as adults for serious crimes