Should we ‘raise the age' for North Carolina's teenage suspects?

- Lawmakers in North Carolina are proposing a bill to "raise the age" - changing how teens are tried in adult court. 

As it stands right now 16 and 17-year-olds in North Carolina are prosecuted as adults after they're arrested. But this bill which is being pushed by the House Appropriations Committee would keep those 16 and 17-year-olds down in Juvenile Court. 

But, there are questions about the costs associated with that. 

House Bill 280 would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to include 16 and 17-year-olds except in the case of violent felonies. But moving those teenagers into the juvenile systems would be pricey and would begin with the building of a juvenile detention center with just under 100 beds for a cost of $25 million. 

One of those bill's sponsors, Representative Chuck McGrady from Hendersonville said money would have to be found during the upcoming budget process, or it wouldn't make sense to pass the bill. 

If the bill were to pass, North Carolina would no longer be the last state still automatically trying juveniles as adults. 

New York had been the only other state doing it, but recently passed their own legislation to bring the practice to an end. 

House Bill 280 has a lengthy list of supporters, including Governor Roy Cooper, leaders in the House and Senate, and the North Carolina Sheriff's Association. 

The bill has been approved in the House Appropriations Committee and will now move on to a vote in the full house. If it ends up passing bend being signed into law, it wouldn't take effect until the year 2019. 

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