Sept. 1, 2018: CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO - Bill To Prevent Children Under 12 From Being Prosecuted Passes

September 01, 2018

Link to original story HERE:

Children under age 12 would no longer be prosecuted for crimes, other than murder and forcible sexual assault, under a bill that eked through the California Assembly on Thursday.

Asm. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) argued that elementary-aged children don’t have the brain capacity to make well-thought-out decisions, so they shouldn’t be forced into the juvenile court system.

“This bill will not simply let all kids go without repercussions for committing crimes,” she said. “Instead, services needed will be provided to help the child — not to simply punish them.”

But Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey insisted the bill goes “way too far.”

He said it requires law enforcement to turn juveniles under 12 over to their parents or guardians.

“No matter how much harm the child has caused, no matter how many victims were involved, and no matter how much the juvenile needs rehabilitation services,” he said.

The bill passed the Assembly with an initial vote count of 42 to 28. Senate Bill 439 by Sen. Holly Mitchell now returns to the Senate for final approval before heading to the governor.