Rally cheers raising to 18 Texas' age for adult offenders
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Advocates have rallied at the state Capitol to promote a bill seeking to raise from 17 to 18 the age at which offenders automatically enter Texas' adult legal system.
More than 200 students, teachers and other supporters of a proposal by Houston Democratic Rep. Gene Wu gathered Monday on the Capitol steps.
Republicans hold majorities in both chambers and control all of Texas' statewide offices, meaning Democratic legislative priorities are often marginalized. Meanwhile, past efforts to "raise the age" have stalled in a state that leads the nation in death row executions and relishes its tough-on-crime reputation.
Still, Wu's proposal has been endorsed by youth organizations and criminal justice reform groups, as well as conservatives who want Texas to find ways to spend less on its costly prison system.