NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old.
As WCBS 880’s Myles Miller reported, Cuomo stood with the brother of Khalief Browder as he signed the bill into law.
“Your brother did not die in vain,” Cuomo told Akeem Browder. “Your brother died to make a social change, and he has.”
Khalief Browder was 16 when he was arrested on suspicion of stealing a backpack. He was sent to Rikers Island and was beaten by guards and inmates.
“Much of that time in solitary confinement and the traumatizing years of going through that led to his inevitable death,” Akeem Browder said.
Under the new system, cases involving those under 18 will be handled in Family Court and new youth courts.
New York and North Carolina had until Monday been the only states automatically to prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.
The “raise the age” provision was passed as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 state budget, for which an agreement was reached six days late this past Friday. Legislators approved the budget on Sunday.