State high court upholds ending adult trials for some youths

The California Supreme Court has upheld the state's 2018 law barring 14- and 15-year-olds from being tried as adults and sent to adult prisons even for serious crimes such as murder, arson, robbery, rape or kidnapping.

Posted: Feb 25, 2021 3:27 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Supreme Court has upheld the state's 2018 law barring 14- and 15-year-olds from being tried as adults and sent to adult prisons even for serious crimes such as murder, arson, robbery, rape or kidnapping.

The high court found Thursday that the law did not conflict with Proposition 57, approved by voters two years earlier, that allowed judges to decide whether young suspects should be tried in adult court.

Opponents of the law argued that the state Constitution says such ballot measures can't be changed by the Legislature, only by another statewide vote.

The court ruled that the law furthers the intent of the ballot measure.

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