Deal reached to treat 17-year-old offenders as juveniles in Michigan

17-year-old offenders in Michigan no longer would be charged as adults automatically under legislation heading to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's desk.
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) (10/10/2019) - Michigan lawmakers have reached a deal to no longer automatically treat 17-year-old criminal defendants as adults.

A Senate committee passed compromise bills on Thursday, setting the stage for the legislation to go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's desk in coming weeks. The House and Senate had passed bills earlier this year, but there were some sticking points largely over funding.

Michigan is among just four states whose default is to treat 17-year-olds as adults in criminal proceedings.

Supporters say raising the age to 18 would ensure young offenders get fairer sentences and have a better opportunity to be rehabilitated.

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