Law Protects Violent Felony and Sexual Offenders and Empowers Drug Syndicates to Use Youth as Drug Distributors
Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown) joined a group of officials today in Albany for a press conference to repeal ”Raise the Age” legislation that has been in effect in New York since 2018. District Attorney Karen Heggen from Saratoga County joined state assemblymembers to repeal the dangerous loophole that has prevented 91% of 16- and 17-year-old felony offenders from receiving a felony conviction in 2021, according to the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).
“Seventeen years of age is plenty old enough to face the consequences for crimes like making a terroristic threat, armed robbery and sex offenses,” Slater said. “At last month’s law enforcement roundtable, we heard how drug and criminal syndicates in the Hudson Valley are now using teenagers to carry out their activity knowingly full well they’ll be treated leniently because of this terrible law. These soft on crime policies have terrorized our community for far too long and must be repealed immediately.”
As a result of “Raise the Age,” most felony offenders are automatically prosecuted in family court as opposed to criminal court or the Youth Part of Superior Court. The number of teen shooters and victims has tripled since ”Raise the Age” took effect, and the age at which kids pick up a gun for the first time has gone from 16-17 to 12-13.
“Raise the Age Law,” has made it nearly impossible to prosecute 16- and 17-year-old people as adults, sending them instead to the Family Court system.The Family Court system was not set up to properly adjudicate serious felony crimes.In the most densely populated areas, the Family Court system was wholly unprepared to handle the sheer volume of these cases.In short, the “Raise the Age Laws,” have made New Yorkers far less safe and more susceptible to being a victim of crime,” said Yorktown Police Chief and President of the Westchester Police Chiefs Association Robert Noble.
“The failure to hold persons responsible for their acts leads to the development of a society that knows no consequences for their actions. This flies in the face of good citizenship and personal accountability and responsibility and the end result is a less safe environment,” said Putnam County Sheriff Kevin McConville.
**Click Here to Watch Assemblyman Slater's Interview on "Raise the Age" After the Press Conference**
The above information was previously distributed and made public for immediate release by the New York State Assembly.