Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

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Bethlehem Homicide Suspect is First Juvenile Charged in Northhampton County Under New Guidelines,

With a 17-year-old suspect in custody, Northampton County authorities are poised to prosecute a juvenile for homicide for the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court banned automatic life-without-parole sentences for those under age 18.

Bethlehem police Tuesday arrested Lucas J. Cabassa for allegedly firing a fatal shot into the temple of 25-year-old Joseph Rodriguez about 3:15 a.m. Sunday on South Side.

Investigators say they found Facebook pages suggesting Rodriguez belonged to the Latin Kings but do not believe the shooting at a playground near the 800 block of Argus Court was gang related.

First Assistant District Attorney Terry Houck said first-degree murder charges have not been ruled out against Cabassa. A year ago, that charge would have carried an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole upon conviction.

Girl’s Rape Results in Pregnancy, Reflects Big Problem, USA Today

ELWOOD, Ind. — The young girl has felt the stares and endured the rumors running through this small town.

That uninformed reaction to a pregnancy at 13 is no real surprise. People here see a child having a child and are appalled.

What they don’t know is the back story: The pregnancy is the result of a sexual assault, a fact hidden behind the curtain of privacy that cloaks juvenile court proceedings in Indiana.

Defeated Bill Means New Orleans Juvenile Court Keeps its Six Judges, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

The six judges on the New Orleans juvenile court bench can stop updating their resumes. State legislation proposing to cut their number by two was narrowly defeated Tuesday in a committee vote.

The proposed measure, House Bill 607, was a reaction to a recent recommendation from the state Supreme Court that one juvenile court judge would be sufficient for the city of New Orleans because of reduced workloads. The bill, defeated by a 3-2 Senate committee vote, would have reduced the Orleans Parish juvenile court bench from six judges to four.

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