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Bill Would Define at What Age Kentucky Juveniles Can Be Criminally Charged

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A Kentucky lawmaker wants to establish a minimum age at which juveniles could be held legally responsible for committing crimes.

The bill would set the minimum age of 11 years old for a criminal offense. Louisville Representative and bill sponsor Darryl Owens said that young children have not fully developed their impulse control or decision making skills, making them unable to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

The Owensboro Messenger Inquirer reports that under the legislation, children ten years of age and younger who commit an offense would be considered abused or neglected if the parent or guardian repeatedly fails or refuses to control the child.

Daviess District Judge Lisa Payne Jones says young children who break the law should face consequences, but not criminal charges that could follow them the rest of their lives.

The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.
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