A growing group of Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature says it’s time to stop charging 17-year-old criminal suspects as adults.
Republican state Senator Peter Lucido said Michigan is one of a handful of states that still automatically charges 17-year-olds as adults. He said that doesn’t serve the public or minors who can be rehabilitated.
“Let’s talk about the real, the real deal," said Sen. Lucido. "It’s those children we need to make sure that we make them productive members of society, that we give them the fighting chance that they deserve.”
Democratic state Senator Sylvia Santana agreed.
“We cannot in this state of Michigan, continue to lock up 17-year-olds with adults," said Sen. Santana.
The bills would still allow prosecutors to charge 17-year-olds suspected of violent crimes as adults. That would also require the approval of a judge.
Most other states do not allow minors to be charged as adults for non-violent offenses.