A Texas House of Representatives committee is considering raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 17 to 18 years old.
The state is one of just four that charges 17-year-olds as adults, along with New York, North Carolina and New Hampshire. Legislatures in all four states are currently considering initiatives to raise the age of majority to 18.
The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a hearing on March 25 to “study the classification of 17-year-olds as adults.” Judges, law enforcement personnel, prosecutors, professors and advocates submitted testimony at the hearing in support of raising the state's age of adulthood.
“What every parent knows and what neurological research has confirmed (is that) youth are inherently less likely to consider the potential outcomes of their actions, are prone to risky behavior and are more vulnerable or susceptible to negative influences,” testified Elizabeth Henneke, policy attorney for the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, an advocacy group.
Watch video of the hearing HERE.
Read Henneke's testimony HERE.