Counties Challenge New Juvenile Offender Law

Counties are challenging a new state law that prevents young teens from being tried in adult court.

Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer has filed a petition with the California Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of SB 1391. The filing follows the early release of a Bakersfield woman convicted of a senior citizen’s brutal murder because the perpetrator was 15 years old at the time. 

Zimmer’s argument is that the bill, which bars adult trials for 14 and 15-year-olds, conflicts with an earlier initiative passed by voters, Proposition 57. That measure gives the courts discretion to decide whether a juvenile should be tried as an adult.

The counties of Santa Clara, Sacramento, and Stanislaus have also challenged the law, according to the Chronicle of Social Change

Read more about what the courts have said so far at