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Bills Toughening Juvie Laws Pass

Gov. Phil Batt on Friday got seven bills on juvenile justice, most toughening the laws used to deal with lawbreakers under the age of 18.

The House approved the bills Friday afternoon, with just a scattering of opposition. Legislation creating a new state agency to deal with youthful lawbreakers, the Department of Juvenile Corrections, still pends.

Rep. Mark Stubbs, R-Twin Falls, said one of the bills originated after a 14-year-old was charged in the shooting of his father and officials learned it was impossible to charge anyone under that age with murder, in adult court.

One of the bills sent to the governor says offenders under the age of 14 charged with what Stubbs called “the nine deadly sins” could be tried as adults if a judge approves.

They are murder, robbery, rape, forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object, infamous crime against nature, mayhem, assault and battery, selling drugs near a school and arson.