The Texas Legislative Guide was designed and developed by Becca Aaronson, Emily Albracht, Daniel Craigmile, Annie Daniel, Ben Hasson and Ryan Murphy for The Texas Tribune. The Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government and other matters of statewide concern.
Under Texas law, 17-year-olds who commit a crime can be charged and prosecuted as adults. But recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings conflict with that 1918 law, saying 18 is the age of adulthood.
Efforts to raise to 18 the age at which offenders automatically enter the adult legal system in Texas failed in 2015. Lawmakers did, however, pass a bill that ends the practice of sending students who skip school to the adult court system, and possibly to jail.
Updated: June 1, 2015
- Enhancing gun rights
- Reducing penalties for marijuana possession
- The fight over local control
- Efforts to change voter ID
- Changing the age of adulthood for criminal charges
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