Juveniles; trial as adult. (HB274)

Introduced By

Del. Josh Cole (D-Stafford) with support from co-patrons Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), Del. Clinton Jenkins (D-Suffolk), and Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Juveniles; trial as adult. Increases from 14 years of age to 16 years of age the minimum age at which a juvenile can be tried as an adult in circuit court for a felony. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/30/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20101557D
12/30/2019Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/17/2020Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/11/2020Left in Courts of Justice


Bill Mebane writes:

This bill is bad. People who committed murder using a gun should be banned from possessing one. And people who commit a premeditated murder should do more than a short stint in juvenile detention.

Yet this bill would let juveniles who kill someone possess or transport a gun, if they committed the murder at an age less than 16 -- that is, age 14 or 15. It would revise § 18.2-308.2 to raise the age from 14 to 16.

It would also keep juveniles from being tried as adults unless they were at least 16 when they committed a crime, even for murder. Right now, the age is 14, which makes sense for serious premeditated violent crimes. This bill would lift the age to 16, which means 14 or 15-year-olds could murder several of their classmates and avoid doing time in prison for it. That eliminates the deterrent against murder. If a killer is adult enough to plan and premeditate a deliberate first-degree murder, then the killer should face the consequences for that egregious crime, and spend at least 10 years in prison.