FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2015
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN, TX – Today, the Senate passed SB 888, authored by Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, to allow juveniles to immediately appeal a certification to be tried as an adult. By granting youth the opportunity to appeal that certification prior to trial and conviction, SB 888 provides certainty in criminal proceedings and ensures that youth are not improperly prosecuted in adult courts.
Under current law, juveniles certified as adults cannot appeal their certification until after they are convicted in adult court. This process can leave youth waiting years for a determination on whether their certification to adult court was proper in the first place. In addition, if certification is found to be improper, the validity of the adult court's conviction can be questioned.
SB 888 will allow juveniles to contest certification as soon as the judge makes the decision to transfer the case to an adult court. An amendment offered by Senator Hinojosa on the floor today would also ensure the certification appeal would not delay judicial proceedings because it could occur concurrently with the criminal case in the adult court.
"When the state decides to try a juvenile as an adult, we want to provide certainty that the right decision was made. Senate Bill 888 gives certainty to the important certification process and protects juveniles from having to face the consequences of being in adult criminal proceedings if they don't belong there," stated Senator Hinojosa.
The bill now moves to the Texas House of Representatives for its consideration.