Albany lawmakers passed the Raise the Age law meaning to do right by under-18s. But it turns out that raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18, which took effect in October 2019, has led to a huge jump in the number of underage killers and victims.
New NYPD data show that, from January to September last year, the number of underage homicide suspects jumped to 161, nearly double the number for the same period in 2019.
This follows an October NYPD report showing the number of teen shooters and victims tripling in the last five years — a deadly trend that coincides with the enactment of Raise the Age.
Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams often talk of stopping gun violence, and, yes, murders and shootings fell last year. But Raise the Age may have triggered a whole new generation of gunslingers.
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell told The Post that the disastrous criminal-justice reforms have left the NYPD hamstrung to stop the rising youth mayhem.
Another bit of disturbing NYPD stats obtained exclusively by The Post: The number of youth wrapped up in gun violence — including as shooters, suspects, victims and witnesses — rose from 179 in 2017 to 388 last year.
“The cruel irony is that the communities these politicians falsely purport to protect are the communities cleaning the blood of children off of their streets,” said a law-enforcement source fed up with reforms that have only served to ruin many more young black and Hispanic lives in the city.
How can lawmakers in Albany think Raise the Age is working when the number of teen shooters and victims has gone up? But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins — both Democrats, both black — have closed their eyes, stuck fingers in their ears and buried their heads in the corrupt Albany sand.
Another black Dem, Albany District Attorney David Soares, has bewailed the disaster wrought by RTA and other criminal-justice reforms. But apparently prosecutors, even onetime George Soros-backed reformers, aren’t worth listening to.
Family Court may be the right venue for kids who make a one-time bad decision and commit a nonviolent felony. But those who commit violent felony offenses, such as gun crimes, should go to adult criminal court.
By refusing to fix RTA, Heastie & Co. are sending more kids into a life of crime, and putting more young lives at risk.