Juvenile certification bill is dead

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JEFFERSON CITY - House Bill 12, which would have let courts decide if minors as young as 16 should be certified as adults for certain violent crimes died in the House Tuesday.

When the bill started in the Senate, it allowed children as young as 12 to be certified as adults, but in the latest version of the bill the age increased to 16.

Rep. Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, said there were concerns about the bill from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“There's a lot of my colleagues on the Republican side who had concerns about this,” Basye said. “It's already been a statute for a while to have juveniles certified under certain conditions for some very serious crimes and that being, you know, rape, murder, sodomy things of that nature and so the governor wanted to add just two more components.”

Rep. Kip Kendrick, D-Columbia, said he was glad House leadership did not move forward with the bill. 

“Any type of statute that we passed that may have potential errors in it, or wasn't properly thought through could lead towards a mandatory certification of more minors as adults and taking away that, removing that judicial discretion and that obviously is very problematic, " Kendrick said. "Sticking more kids in adult prisons who don't belong there would be problematic."

Rep. Kendrick and Basye both said their constituents had concerns about the bill could affect minors.

During Tuesday’s session, the House also passed five violent crime bills that will now move onto the Senate. The bills were HB 2, HB 46, HB 66, HB 11, HB 16.