INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A proposal to increase penalties for juveniles who rob pharmacies narrowly cleared an Indiana legislative committee that heard from opponents who argue it wouldn't enhance public safety.
The bill would have anyone ages 16 or 17 charged with trying to steal prescription drugs face charges in adult court, rather juvenile court. Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Michael Young of Indianapolis says the change would make young thieves "weigh the scales" before acting.
Bill opponents say youths who enter the adult criminal system are more likely to commit another crime. They say it would also limit the discretion of judges on who should face adult charges.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 Wednesday to send the bill to the full Senate.
Indiana had the most pharmacy robberies nationwide in 2015.
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