Vermont Lawmakers Consider Changes to Youthful Offender Law

Troy Marden, 17, of Amesbury, Massachusetts, and Gracie Herrick Onofrio, 52, of Norway, Maine, were killed in separate accidents on Saturday

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Vermont lawmakers are reconsidering parts of the state's youthful offender law.

Under the law, criminal proceedings against young people are handled in family court privately to give offenders a chance at rehabilitation without public scrutiny. The Legislature expanded it last year to include anyone up to the age of 22, but some lawmakers think it should be tweaked.

Bennington County State's Attorney Erica Marthage told WCAX-TV that she has concerns about how the law has been used since it was expanded. And Sen. Dick Sears, a Democrat from Bennington, says he doesn't think rape, murder and other serious crimes should be handled in family court, but he wants to leave it open for the rare case. He said a bill is being drafted that would clarify the crimes in which prosecutors would have more.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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