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Missouri law raising adult age for crimes to 18 not used

Some defendants blame COVID-19 on why they can’t show up in court
Some defendants blame COVID-19 on why they can’t show up in court(OYS)
Published: Jan. 19, 2021 at 10:07 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Most county prosecutors in Missouri are not following a new law that raised the age for being charged as an adult to 18.

The law took effect on Jan. 1 but the Missouri Legislature did not provide funding for juvenile services to handle an influx of new cases caused by the change. Missouri is one of only five states in the U.S. that automatically charges 17-year-olds as adults in criminal cases.

Prosecutors in St. Louis and Jackson County have implemented the change. But the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association have refused to make the change because of the lack of funding.

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