CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

March 20, 2014

Time to Change Law that Harms NH Kids

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Research shows that young offenders who are handled in the juvenile justice system are less likely to repeat their crimes than those who go to the adult system. Adult prosecution also increases the likelihood that young offenders will escalate into violent crime. A 1996 study found that the recidivism rate went up 90 percent for kids who did time in adult facilities. The same study showed that processing in adult court increased by 80 percent the likelihood of being subsequently arrested for a weapons offense. Multiple studies in various states have shown similar results.

Something else that has changed measurably since 1995 is the prevalence of youth crime, which was a large part of the argument for lowering the age to 17. Both nationally and in New Hampshire, juvenile delinquency is on the decline. In 2003, the state processed 5,800 delinquency cases; by 2012, the number fell to 2,880, a drop of just over half. We have the capacity to add 17-year-olds to our juvenile justice system; and even with the addition of 17-year-olds, the juvenile justice system will still be smaller than it was in 2003.

The vast majority of offenses committed by people under 18 are misdemeanors, and if the age is raised, judges will still have the option of transferring any juvenile accused of a felony to adult court. Even 17-year-olds who receive long sentences will eventually be released. The younger the offender, the more important it is that our policies promote rehabilitation. Adult prosecution does the opposite.

I am a firm believer that young people should be held accountable, but it should be within the juvenile justice system where they’ll be mandated to go to school, have counseling and participate in other rehabilitative activities. We know that most adolescents who engage in delinquent acts do not persist in crime long into adulthood. The juvenile justice system capitalizes on adolescents’ capacity for rehabilitation, while the adult system diminishes it. Putting children in an adult prison gives them a new peer group – adult criminals - which exposes them to horrific danger.

Returning 17-year-olds to the juvenile system is the right thing to do, for our kids and for the safety of our communities. It’s time for New Hampshire to join forty other states and raise the age to 18.

Rep. Kenneth Weyler (R)

Representing the towns of Kingston and Hampstead

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    LAWRENCE — Marie Rose (Robidoux) Audy, passed away at her home surrounded by her family, after suffering a stroke in April. She was born in Lawrence and was the daughter of the late Rose A. (Betit) and Alfred Robidoux, originally of Quebec, Canada. She was predeceased by her husband of 28 years, Armand Joseph Audy, who passed away on June 28, 1976.

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    Bar Harbor, ME — Francis M. Lurvey passed away Sunday, June 22, in Bar Harbor, Maine, after battling cancer. By his side were his sons, Edwin Lurvey and Steven Lurvey and his niece and husband, Debra and Richard Carey, as well as cousin, Marion McDonald. He was the son of Edwin R Lurvey (Bar Harbor) and Delia Amazeen (Dexter). He is survived by five children, a stepson, and their families. His sons, Edwin and wife April, Steven and wife, Pam, David and his daughter, Meghan, as well as his daughters, Lorraine and Ellen and her husband, Paul DiScipio with daughters, Katherine and Julia, and his stepson, Brian Faulkner and wife, Jody with children, Trevor, Rachel, and Keith. He is also survived by his sister, Sheryl, and many nieces and nephews including Frank Lurvey and Elaine Langer. Francis was predeceased by his twin brother, Frank, as well as his brothers, Edwin and Erwin. He was also predeceased by his longtime companion, Brian and Edwin’s mother, Maureen Faulkner and former wife, Roberta Lurvey Gilmore.

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    Atkinson, NH — Norman R. Cote, of Atkinson, was called to his heavenly home on June 16, 2014, following a period of declining health.

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  • Frederick M. Hopper, 64

    Epping, NH — Frederick Michael Hopper, of Epping, N.H., passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Predeceased by his wife, Alice Hopper, he is survived by his longtime girlfriend, Joann Peatfield; daughters, Shay Belair and Jayne Pond; sons-in-law, Adam Belair and James Pond; mother, Arlene Hopper; father and stepmother, Frederick S. and Barbara Hopper; siblings, Susan Hardy, Stephan Hopper, Scott Hopper, and Sherri Chagnon; grandsons, Benjamin Belair, Jonathan Belair and Jackson Pond; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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