House panel: Exclude some as youthful offenders

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill to exclude those charged with the most serious crimes from having their cases settled under youthful offender status.

State Rep. Phil Williams of Huntsville is sponsoring the bill. It passed the committee Wednesday and would exclude those charged with Class A felonies from youthful offender status. Youthful offender status means young people, usually younger than 21, can in most cases keep their convictions secret.

Williams says he was motivated by efforts to keep a Huntsville man charged in the death of an eight-year-old from being considered as a youthful offender.

Williams says the bill would send a message to young people that if they commit certain crimes they will be treated as adults. The bill goes to the House for debate.



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