Typically, when a young person commits a crime, they’re tried in a court of law like they’re just that—a young person. However, in 12 states, the practice of direct file allows prosecutors to independently choose to try a young defendant as an adult, without a judge’s permission.
This horrible system lets prosecutors hand down far harsher sentences for kids who’ve committed crimes, all with little to no oversight. This outrageous system should have no place in America in 2017.
Here’s the 12 states with direct file laws on the books: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wyoming. If you live in one of them, you know what to do—contact your reps and tell them that direct file is unfair, cruel, and must be eliminated.