Michigan Legislature OKs raising age for adult prosecution

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State lawmakers are close to ending Michigan’s status as one of the few states where 17-year-old offenders are automatically prosecuted as adults.

The state Senate overwhelmingly approved bills Wednesday, a day after the House voted. The legislation is expected to soon go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her likely signature.

Starting in October 2021, Michigan’s age at which defendants are considered adults would be 18 instead of 17. Prosecutors could still try 14-, 15-, 16- and 17-year-olds as adults for certain violent offenses, such as murder and rape.

Republican and Democratic sponsors of the “overdue” bills say they are needed to give young offenders a chance at rehabilitation instead of locking them up with adults.

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