Utica New York (WIBX) - If a New York judge has his way the legal age for responsibility will be changed from 16 to 18.

That means 16 and 17-year olds will be prosecuted in the same fashion as minors, currently considered to be those aged 15 and under.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman believes this would relieve

caseloads for probation departments and eventually lessen the number of youthful non-violent offenders who later turn violent. He also thinks it will result in fewer juveniles who are wrongly convicted of crimes.

But Utica Councilman Jim Zecca and Police Chief Mark Williams aren't buying it.

At a West Utica citizens meeting earlier this week Zecca annouced the proposal to the group, saying that it would further hamper crime control work in the city.

In a written response to an inquiry by Zecca, Police Chief Williams said the new proposal means that repeat criminals would now be given two more years of not being responsible to the victims of their offenses.

He added that the New York State Chiefs of Police Association is also opposed to the proposal.

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