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Bill on way to governor to raise delinquent age

The House has voted to send a bill to the governor that treats 17-year-olds accused of crimes as juveniles instead of as adults.

The House voted without debate to pass the bill yesterday.

At least 40 other states and the federal government treat 17-year-olds as juveniles. New Hampshire lowered its age from 18 to 17 in 1996 and attempts to raise it have been defeated over the years.

Supporters argue the teens are still of an age when they can be rehabilitated.

Raising the age would mean that crimes committed by 17-year-olds no longer would become part of an adult criminal record. Prosecutors could still ask a judge to treat a 17-year-old as an adult for major crimes.

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