Court Strikes Down MA Law Allowing Teens Held To 21


Massachusetts officials may challenge a Supreme Judicial Court ruling yesterday that forces the release of some juvenile criminal offenders who are being held beyond age 18, reports the Boston Herald. The state’s highest court struck down a statute allowing officials to hold until age 21 some offenders deemed too dangerous to release. The court said the law was unconstitutional and failed to define dangerousness.

“These were not kids charged with some of the horrific crimes we tend to think of like murder, kidnapping and rape,” said Barbara Kaban of the Children's Law Center, attorney for one of the plaintiffs. The ruling means the release of 12 of 1,600 offenders. The state is considering whether to fight the ruling with an appeal or new legislation.

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