A Brooklyn grand jury on Friday indicted Donovan Bailey, 15, on attempted murder and other charges in the Labor Day shooting that saw bullets shatter the femur of Maxwell Cesc-Dinho, 6, and injure five other innocents.
Imagine: an alleged hardened thug at 15, a reputed member of the Crips who was already facing robbery charges in a 2019 case and has eight prior arrests in total.
We fear this case, and others like it, exposes a serious flaw in New York’s Raise the Age law, which boost the presumed age of criminal responsibility to 18 to prioritize rehabilitation over punishment for minors.
Yes, save the adult sentences for adult perpetrators. But this has given the Crips and other gangs strong incentive to hand adult “jobs,” such as the retaliatory hit that Labor Day attack was supposed to be, to children. Indeed, gangs have added cause to recruit kids for dirty work.
Would Donovan Bailey be where he is now without that law? No need to go back to the old standard, where New York was one of only two states to automatically charge 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. But the reform seems to need some reform of its own.
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