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UPDATE: Wis. bill shifts some youth cases from adult court

UPDATED Thursday, November 14, 2013 --- 9:15 a.m.

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a bill that would treat some 17-year-old offenders as juveniles rather than have them tried in adult court.

A Post-Crescent Media report (http://post.cr/HSKzoB ) says the bill has support from the State Bar of Wisconsin and the state public defender's office. State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, opposes it.

In Wisconsin, 17-year-olds have been charged in adult court since 1996, even when they committed nonviolent crimes. The so-called "second-chance bill" would allow nonviolent offenders to be handled in the juvenile system.

That would allow 17-year-olds to avoid an adult prison setting. It would also keep them from having tarnished adult records, which could hurt them when they apply for college or jobs.

Wisconsin is one of 11 states where 17-year-olds are automatically treated as adults

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, October 31, 2013 --- 5:10 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A bipartisan bill that would reverse a Wisconsin state law that requires all 17-year-old offenders to be treated like adults is moving quickly in the state Legislature.

The Assembly Corrections Committee was slated to vote on the bill Thursday, the same day a Senate committee was holding a public hearing on it.

The proposal only affects 17-year-olds charged with non-violent crimes for the first time.

A variety of groups supports the change, including the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference and the state public defender.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is against it. He says the current system works well.

Wisconsin is one of only 11 states where children under the age of 18 are automatically treated as adults, no matter the offense.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted Thursday, October 3, 2013 --- 6:43 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Non-violent 17-year-old offenders in Wisconsin would no longer be treated as adults in the justice system under a bipartisan proposal up for a hearing in the Legislature.

The bill before the Assembly's Corrections Committee would reverse a 1996 law requiring all 17-year-olds, regardless of the offense, to be treated as adults.

The proposal would not affect those charged with violent crimes such as homicide, rape or battery. It also wouldn't affect repeat offenders.

A variety of groups supports the change, including the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Catholic Conference and the state public defender.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is against it. He says the current system works well.

Wisconsin is one of only 11 states where children under the age of 18 are automatically treated as adults.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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