The Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill to raise the age for automatically treating teenagers as adults in the Texas criminal justice system. Texas is currently one of only six states where 17-year-olds accused of crimes are treated as adults by the law. The bill now moves on to the Texas Senate. Past attempts to raise the age in Texas have stalled in the legislature, but there is hope this year because of the easy passage through the House.
Under the proposed changes, the State could still seek to treat juveniles accused of serious crimes as adults, but such treatment would no longer be automatic for 17-year-olds.