2/6/2011 Newsletter

Contents:

  • Stop Bad Bill that Would Allow 10-year-olds to be Tried as Adults

TAKE ACTION ON THIS BAD BILL

The notice below is from the Juvenile Justice Coalition of Minnesota (JJC).  Please take action on this.  We cannot let the legislature turn 10 year olds into adults in the criminal justice system.  It would be especially great if folks could attend this hearing on Thursday.

If you think there are issues with racial and economic bias in the adult justice system, these are greatly magnified in the juvenile justice system, where kids don't even have the right to have the assistance of their parents or the lawyer of their choice.  Not only that, but if they get certified for EJJ (extended juvenile jurisdiction) there isn't even a defined sentence for the offense.  If the child "acts out" while in custody, the child can be held until age 18.  We know of a case in which a young man was sentenced to juvenile detention on a first offense for a minor shoplifting incident at age 12 and because of EJJ he ended up incarcerated until age 18.  If he had been an adult, he would have served no more than three months.

The proposed reactionary legislation puts a "law and order" spin to dealing with troubled youth.  This is the wrong approach, doesn't work and in this modern age, we know better.

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HF 306 known as "Emily's Law" is scheduled for a hearing with the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee for this Thursday, February 10th from 10:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Room 10 at the State Office Building.  It is the only bill on the agenda at this time.  Here is the agenda.  COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE - Feb.10.doc
Several individuals have indicated a willingness to testify against this legislation.

Please contact your legislators and/or committee members.  This bill creates a new "violent offender" category that would allow youth as young as age 10 who commit those offenses to be certified as an adult or given EJJ status.  The existing age is 14. 

Here is a link to the bill.
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0306.0.html&session=ls87

Here is a link to the committee members
http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/comm/committeemembers.asp?comm=87015


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