May 12, 2017
North Carolina is the last state to automatically charge 16 and 17 year olds as adults. That could soon change.
“Kids accompanied by their parents trickled into the quaint Orange County courtroom lined with murals last week. One by one, the juvenile offenders met with the district attorney to negotiate punishments for their crimes.Judge Joseph Buckner has been working with juvenile offenders for several decades and said he would like to see 16 and 17 year olds tried in juvenile court. Photo credit: Taylor Knopf
Chief District Court Judge Joseph Buckner entered the courtroom in his black robe and all rose to their feet. The first teen approached the bench with his mom. He was there for attempted misdemeanor larceny.
Another girl came forward with her dad by her side. She received an additional 24 hours of community service for a probation violation.
Everyone is amicable. The kids are told to interrupt if they have questions. The morning has the structural feel of a typical court session, except for when the judge turns to get the opinion or approval of a group to his right.” To read the rest of the story, click here.