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February 2, 2009 10:29 AM

Young offenders get a break

The House overwhelmingly passed two bills this morning that give younger criminals a chance to reform themselves.

The first, HB1044, allows juveniles who were charged as an adult but ultimately convicted as a juvenile to petition for their records to be expunged after completing their punishment. Only juveniles charged as juveniles can do that now.

The second, HB1122, allows young adults to be sentened to the Youthful Offender System, rather than the regular correctional system, if they were no older than 19 at the time they committed the crime and under 21 at the time of sentencing. It excludes most sex offenders and people who commit the most serious crimes.

Both bills were sponsored by Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango. Both passed 58-5 with a handful of Republicans opposing them.



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