Teens speak about rallying for raising prosecution age in La.
BATON ROUGE- Two teenagers stopped by News 2 at 4 on Wednesday afternoon to speak on a Senate Bill that raises the age limit for prosecution in the state.
The current state law allows for 17 year olds to be prosecuted as adults.
Senate Bill 324 creates the Raise the Age Louisiana Act the Louisiana Juvenile Jurisdiction Planning and Implementation Council.
Advocates and supporters gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon to rally in favor of the bill.
Of those supporters was 17-year-old Carlos Wilson and 18-year-old Jasmine Jeff, students at SciHigh in New Orleans.
Jeff mentioned that when she was 17 she was not allowed to vote, serve on a jury, or join the military, but could be jailed as an adult.
In her speech at the capitol rally, Jeff stated that the law seemed strange and unfair.
She said that she is interested in studying criminal justice because she wants to represent teens who do not have a voice in the matter.
Wilson, who also wants to study criminal justice, said that he understands how other 17-year-olds feel about the law and said that he does not believe teens are adults and should be prosecuted as so.
In his speech Wilson stated that he believes the juvenile justice system holds teens accountable for their actions, where as going into adult jails causes teens to fear for their lives.
“We don’t have adult privileges and when teens go into adult facilities they are more likely to commit suicide within the first two days,” Wilson said.
“It’s like we are throwing teens away into adult prisons instead of helping them to be released," Wilson said
Jeff, Wilson and many other supporters of the bill spoke to lawmakers on Wednesday. Jeff said that lawmakers both supported and opposed the bill, but what was most important to them was to let lawmakers know how the law effects them and their peers.
Senate Bill 324 is set to be voted on next Tuesday by lawmakers.