ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — More Orange and Osceola County children are being charged as adults after committing violent crimes.
Channel 9 sat down with recently appointed Orange-Osceola State Attorney Andrew Bain to ask what led to the change.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office investigators said three teens were involved in a cross-county chase.
This occurred after deputies said they put a gun to a 60-year-old woman’s throat and stole her car.
Channel 9 spoke to the victim’s son, who didn’t want to be identified.
“I’m just glad she’s alive,” said the victim’s son.
Two 17-year-olds are now being charged as adults, and Bain said his office will do more of that to send a message to violent juvenile criminals.
“Once you cross that line from just being a passive part of the situation to an active, dangerous member of our community, you have to be... we have to put a pause on you,” Bain said.
Channel 9 asked Bain why he thinks this is the necessary step.
“There’s no other thing we can do,” Bain said. “There’s no juvenile program in the country, in the world, for juveniles to kill people.”
Desmond Meade, the executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, said this direction could lead to more significant issues once they’re released.
“What we’re witnessing is what I call kick-the-can-down-the-road policies,” Meade said. “These approaches to direct violence juveniles have not been shown to do anything to prevent crime.”
He said reducing crime starts at the front, not the back end.
“A lot of the tough-on-crime rhetoric, it’s not really about being tough on crime,” Meade said. “It’s about being tough on responding to crime.”
Channel 9 asked Bain’s office if the child’s age impacts its decision, and it said it considers age, history, and the nature of the offense.
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