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North Dakota House raises age of juvenile culpability

January 9, 2019

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota House has endorsed a bill that raises the age of children who can be held responsible for breaking the law.

State law now says children under the age of 7 are presumed incapable of committing a crime. The House voted 88-5 on Wednesday to raise the age to 10.

The measure was motivated by an interim legislative committee studying criminal justice reform.

State juvenile court coordinator Cathy Ferderer says no children under the age of 7 are in the state court system. She says there were 185 children under 10 years old in 2017 who were referred to juvenile court.

The bill does not change the 14-year-old age at which children can prosecuted as an adult.

The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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