After more than a decade of unsuccessful attempts by lawmakers and juvenile justice advocates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially signed a bill into law Monday that would prevent all 16- and 17-year-olds from automatically being charged as adults in New York, no matter the crime.
“This was a hard one. This was difficult to do,” Cuomo said at the bill’s signing in Harlem, where surrounded by prosecutors, advocates and lawmakers, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and the brother of Kalief Browder.
“We’ve been talking about this for 12 years. Every year everyone would set their hopes high and every year the bill would die.”
The bill ended New York's status as one of only two states that prosecuted all 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. North Carolina is the other.