Lawmakers to discuss bill to end adult prosecution of teens

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Lawmakers are pushing to stop North Carolina from becoming the only remaining state that automatically tries 16- and 17-year-olds for crimes as adults.

The “raise the age” bill is headed Wednesday to the House floor where it will be up for debate.

The state will soon be the only one that automatically tries the teens as adults since New York legislators agreed in April to a two-year phase out of the practice.

The measure would take effect in 2019 and shift misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases to juvenile court. A competing Senate proposal would only shift misdemeanor cases.

Even though the House bill has bipartisan and law enforcement group support, some lawmakers have voiced concerns about the financial challenges of moving cases to juvenile court.