FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2015
(512) 463-0120 office
AUSTIN, TX - Today, Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa announced the passage of SB 888 out of the Texas Legislature, sending the bill that improves fairness and efficiency for juvenile offenders to the Governor's Desk for final approval. The bill allows juveniles to immediately appeal a certification to be tried as an adult in criminal court.
SB 888 was authored by Senator Hinojosa to address a deficiency in current law that prohibits juveniles certified as adults from appealing their certification until after they are convicted in adult court. This allows juveniles to be tried and convicted in adult courts before they are allowed to appeal the decision to try them as adults.
SB 888 fixes this issue by allowing juveniles to contest certification as soon as the judge makes the decision to transfer a case to an adult court. Under the bill, the appeal of the certification order can run concurrently with the ongoing case in adult court, preventing any unnecessary delays in the criminal proceedings.
Senator Hinojosa issued the following statement:
"SB 888 is a needed reform to our criminal justice system that ensures the decision to try juveniles as adults is fully vetted by all levels of our court system without causing undue delays. By allowing juveniles to immediately contest the decision to certify them as adults, the state will limit any unnecessary exposure of juveniles to adult criminal proceedings and provide certainty that the court's decision to certify was proper.
This bill will save the state valuable resources by fully resolving the certification issue before a trial in adult court, and it will bring fairness to the defendant and efficiency to the juvenile appeals process."