Should Utah lower the age when teens face adult charges for killing cops?

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SALT LAKE CITY — A new bill filed in the Utah State Legislature would lower the age for teenagers to face adult-level charges when they’re accused of killing police officers.

Under current Utah law, a juvenile defendant must be at least 16 years old to be directly taken into the adult court system. However, Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley City, has filed “Juvenile Defense and Jurisdiction Amendments,” designated HB 190 in the 2018 Legislature, which proposes to drop the age to 15 when it involves the murder of a police officer.

Winder told Fox 13 on Thursday the bill was in response to the murder of West Valley City Police Officer Cody Brotherson, who was killed in 2016 while attempting to stop a vehicle with three teens inside. The teens — ages 14, 15 and 15 — were sentenced to confinement in a juvenile detention facility until they are 21.

Read the full story here:

Written by BEN WINSLOW,

Read more: See all St. George News stories related to Utah’s 2018 Legislative session.

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  • Caveat_Emptor January 22, 2018 at 11:42 am

    If we ask what the underlying expectation for this adjustment to the existing law is, there are two elements:
    1. By reducing the age threshold to 15, will that be a deterrent to teenagers when faced with making a bad choice?
    2. If a teenager makes a bad choice, are they mature enough to suffer the consequences, as an “adult”?

    I think most of us would agree that kids today are far more “grown up” than historically, and are making life changing decisions at earlier ages. As such, adjusting the threshold is appropriate, but why not make it 14 years old?

  • DRT January 22, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Actually, the bill is no different from most of them. It’s designed specifically to get this politician’s name out in front of the public, and sound like he is tough on crime.
    That being said, I believe that no matter a person’s age, if they deliberately kill a cop, they shouldn’t live to be taken into custody!

  • utahdiablo January 22, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Yep, do the crime, do the time….no matter what the age

  • 417-PC January 22, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    Absolutely the minimum age to try an offender as an adult for killing a law enforcement officer should be lowered. In fact, as one person indicated, possibly there should be NO minimum age limit to be tried as an adult for such an offense.

  • 42214 January 22, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    I agree with “Brandishing’s” comment.

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