Rhode Island to Dismiss, Transfer 17-Year-Old “Gap Kids”

Last year, during the nearly five-month span after Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri passed a law that lowered the age of adult court jurisdiction to 17 but before he was forced to repeal it, about 100 17-year-olds were charged as adults for their alleged crimes. Yesterday Superior Court Judge Daniel Procaccini ruled that the cases for those so-called “Gap Kids” should be dismissed or transferred back to juvenile court. Prosecutors immediately appealed. Public Defender John Hardiman argued this morning that the ruling should go into effect immediately, but Procaccini said he will keep the ruling on hold pending appeal.

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