RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ A House committee is recommending that 16- and 17-year-olds in trouble with the law for some offenses should be adjudicated in North Carolina's juvenile system, not tried in the regular courts.
A House judiciary committee approved Wednesday a bipartisan measure that would raise the age to prosecute someone in adult courts from 16 to 18 for youth who committee misdemeanors only. The changes would be carried out in 2016 and 2017.
North Carolina and New York are the only states where 16- and 17-year-olds are automatically prosecuted in adult court.
Proponents of the change say young people can receive more age-appropriate treatment and punishment in the juvenile system and avoid the stigma of a criminal record for a youthful indiscretion.
The bill next heads to the House budget-writing committee.