[Media Coverage] NYT: D.C. Passes Bill to Give Young Offenders Chance at Reduced Sentences

December 15, 2020

The District of Columbia Council passed legislation on Tuesday that would give people who committed crimes as young adults a chance to have their sentences reduced, reflecting a growing national debate over whether offenders in their late teens and early 20s should be treated the same as older people when it comes to sentencing. [...]

Lael Chester, the director of the Emerging Adult Justice Project at Columbia University’s Justice Lab, said a threshold of 18 for treatment as an adult was arbitrary. Research demonstrates that there is “no magic birthday,” she said.

“You don’t magically transform into an adult at age 18,” she said. “Should the justice system have a safety valve in which to review the case and consider this?” [...]

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