July 17, 2009

Upcoming trials raise questions about how to handle prosecution of children

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A 15-year-old accused of injuring and sexually molesting a 5-year-old girl when he was 12, and a 14-year-old accused of murdering his father are each being tried as adults in Canyon County courts, reports Kristin Rodine of the Idaho Statesman. The cases have raised questions about the issue of trying minors as adults. Advocacy groups are gearing up to challenge state laws that require juveniles over age 14 to be tried as adults if they are accused of certain crimes, including murder, rape and first-degree arson. Idaho law also allows children younger than 14 to be tried as adults, if a judge approves. Since 1968, 76 Idaho inmates have gone to adult prisons before they turned 18.

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