Bill S6524-2013

Increases the age of a person deemed a youth for youthful offender status

Increases the age of a person from nineteen to twenty-two to be deemed a youth for youthful offender status.

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  • Feb 3, 2014: REFERRED TO CODES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6524

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to increasing the age of a person deemed a youth for youthful offender status

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill would change the age of eligibility for youthful offenders, making older teenagers and those who were twenty or twenty-one at the time the crime was committed eligible for youthful offender treatment.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one of the bill amends subdivision one of Criminal Procedure Law section 720.10 by changing the upper age of eligibility for youthful offender treatment from less than nineteen" to "less than twenty-two."

Section 2 is the effective date, which is 60 days after the bill shall have become a law.

JUSTIFICATION:

As the United States Supreme Court recognized in Roger v. Simms, 543 U.S. 551 (2005), adolescents and teenagers differ significantly from adults with respect to characteristics that lead to a conclusion that juveniles have diminished culpability. Youth are less mature and have an underdeveloped sense of responsibility; they are more vulnerable to outside pressures, including peer pressure, and other negative influences; and their characters are less well formed and still developing. Id. at 569-570. Youthful offender status recognizes those differences and provides a mechanism for different treatment of young offenders when appropriate. In light of the research discussed below, eligibility for youthful offender treatment should be extended to those who were less than twenty-two at the time the crime was committed.

Studies reviewed and summarized by the National Conference of State Legislatures support a conclusion that the neurobiological, psychosocial and developmental differences between juveniles and adults continue into the late teens and early twenties. A longitudinal study conducted by the chief of Brain Imaging in the Child Psychiatry Branch of the National institute of Mental Health concluded that the average human brain is not fully developed until age 25; critically, the frontal lobe, which is responsible for functions such as advanced cognition, controlling impulses and judging consequences, continues to develop into the early twenties. The MacArthur Foundation has conducted psychosocial and developmental research that corroborates the neurobiological findings.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

Assembly: A.10267 (2012),referred to Codes; Senate: New bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

To take effect 60 days after the bill shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6524 IN SENATE February 3, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MONTGOMERY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to increasing the age of a person deemed a youth for youthful offender status THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 720.10 of the criminal procedure law, as amended by chapter 411 of the laws of 1979, is amended to read as follows: 1. "Youth" means a person charged with a crime alleged to have been committed when he was at least sixteen years old and less than [nine- teen] TWENTY-TWO years old or a person charged with being a juvenile offender as defined in subdivision forty-two of section 1.20 of this chapter. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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