More than 400 youth were charged in adult court in Pennsylvania in 2017 because of a law passed in 1995 (courtesy Joshua Vaughn, The Sentinel)
What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, February 7, 2019:
Before 1995, criminal homicide was the only charge (other than traffic violation’s) that required a person under 18 appear in an adult court.
Then came Act 33, which was passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature and elevated certain felonies, committed under specified conditions and by people between the ages of 15 and 17, to adult court.
Act 33 made a significant impact on how the Commonwealth charges and adjudicates juvenile crime. In 2017 alone, more than 400 children aged 14 to 17 were charged with criminal offenses in adult court.
Adult courts can mean sentencing to adult jails, alongside adult offenders. The problems created for juveniles in this system are exponential.
Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss the series’ findings is Sentinel reporter Joshua Vaughn.
Also, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled last year that the Congressional district boundaries were unconstitutional. The Court asked the state legislators to offer an alternative map, but when they failed to do so, the Court adopted its own boundaries.
Before the most recent election there were 13 Republicans and five Democrats representing Pennsylvania in Congress. After the election, there was an even split of nine Republicans and nine Democrats.
What would the results have been if the election was held using the old boundaries?
Keystone Crossroads reporter Emily Previti analyzed the data and joins Smart Talk to discuss those results.