Juvenile Justice Groups Say Felony Murder Charges Harm Children, Young Adults

Cheryl Corley, NPR •

Juvenile justice advocates such as Marsha Levick say young people should rarely, if ever, face a felony murder charge. Levick, the co-founder of the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, says even though some states are reluctant to charge individuals with felony murder, it still can trap lots of people. She says it is an especially unfair charge for young people, since research shows how developmentally different youth are from adults.

"One of those differences is this sort of appreciation of consequences," Levick says. "The ability to think long term, the ability to sort of do a cost-benefit analysis, and kids simply do that more poorly."

About the Expert

Marsha Levick co-founded Juvenile Law Center in 1975. Throughout her legal career, Levick has been an advocate for children’s and women's rights and is a nationally recognized expert in juvenile law.