- Associated Press - Monday, May 1, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Latest on North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin speaking at the Legislative Building for “raise the age” legislation (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

North Carolina Chief Justice Mark Martin says it’s time for the state to stop automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults because young people are being stigmatized with public criminal records for even small mistakes.

Martin came to the Legislative Building on Monday with other proponents of “raise the age” legislation to speak for its passage.

North Carolina will soon be the only state nationwide that prosecutes teens as young as 16 in adult court now that New York legislators have agreed to phase out the practice.

Martin says young adults from North Carolina in fleeting trouble with the law in high school are at a disadvantage with young people from other states for employment. The record of the out-of-state adult is confidential because the case remained in juvenile court.


3:10 a.m.

The head of North Carolina’s court system wants to build momentum for legislation ending the practice of 16- and 17-year-olds being automatically tried for crimes as adults.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin planned to speak at a Legislative Building news conference Monday to back a “raise the age” measure that has bipartisan and law enforcement group support.

North Carolina will be the only state in the country that automatically prosecutes teens as adults since New York legislators agreed in April to a two-year phase out of the practice.

The latest North Carolina proposal would take effect in late 2019, shifting misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases to juvenile court.

The “raise the age” effort got a boost after a blue-ribbon court commission organized by Martin recommended the change.

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