I AMENDED THIS PETITION FEBRUARY 23, 2014. THE ORIGINAL PETITION IS NEAR THE BOTTOM. PLEASE READ BOTH THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.
The concerns raised I have most commonly seen on social media regarding Jayru Campbells case were, why is Prosecutor Kym Worthy aggressively charging Campbell as an adult with felony counts?...People were confused as to why an 11th grade high school student, 17yrs of age, who had no prior criminal record, wasn't being charged as a juvenile? The cry from the community has been the charges are too severe for the alleged crime. Jayru Campbells Preliminary trial is set for February 24, 2014.
I created this petition to ask Kym Worthy to drop adult criminal charges against Jayru Campbell and charge him as a juvenile. This petition gained momentum and media attention. In less than one week there was an article writen about it in the Detroit News, mlive.com, and other media sources. The petition gained over 4,000 signatures and nearly 100 responses of commentary support.
On Feb 19th Gus Burns from www.mlive.com wrote "One flaw in J'nai Porters petition is that under Michigan law a person is considered an adult for purposes of the criminal law at age 17". In Burns article a spokeswoman for Kym Worthy was quoted as saying "It is not legally possible for Jayru Campbell to be charged as a juvenille offender".
When various media sources reported Kym Worthy formally charged Campbell as an adult. There was an immediate assumption by many that she had a choice and simply opted against charging him as a juvenile. I will admit I was ignorant to the law and believed that adult criminal age was 18 years and older.
With the development of this pertinent oversight I am amending this petition and am now asking Governor Rick Snyder to sign into law that 17-year-olds be treated as juveniles in Michigan courts. Campbells case moved me to action but the reality is we value all of our youth. His case made me consider how many other kids faced, and will continue to face harsh adult charges at 17-years-old. My daughter is 15 years old God forbid she make a bad mistake at 17 years old, she could be facing prison time! I am most definitely a concerned parent.
I believe Jayru Campbell's case exemplifies why the law should be changed he is a clear case of one who would probably benefit from rehabilitative juvenile programs versus being held criminally accountable for an act committed as a minor. He has more than demonstrated he has a bright future ahead of him. He is college bound, a dynamic athlete, a good student, a role model, and he is a minor. All Young people make mistakes some small some great, that is apart of growing up. There should be more value placed on the development of our youth. If we fail at valuing our youth now, what will they contribute to the future?
Governor Snyder you say you're reinventing Michigan getting it right getting it done. I'm asking you to think of the the plight of our youth and move away from what has now become the old way to deal with youth criminal offenders. Evidence shows prosecuting youth offenders in adult courts has proven ineffective at preventing crime and improving public safety.
When 17-year-olds mix with adults in prison and are released they are often disenfranchised, have limited ability for college degrees, are stigmatized with a felony, making it more difficult to gain employment. Before they even get started in adulthood they are set up for failure and recidivism for some. The belief is 17-year-olds would more benefit from being in the juvenile justice system so they will be afforded the right rehabilitation and have a hopeful chance to move on with their lives without an adult conviction.
Nationally there has been a shift toward classifying defendants less than 18 years old as juveniles in the courts. Over the last 8 years or so 15 states have changed their laws for 17 year olds to be viewd as juveniles, and by 2011 at least nine additional states including Nebraska and Wisconsin were persuing similar policy reform. As early as September 2013, Governor Deval Patrick of Boston, Massachusetts signed into law that 17 year olds were to be treated as juveniles in Massachusets courts. Stating "it's a great day that they will no longer be treated as adults". Massachusetts became the 39th state to change their law to include 17 year olds a juvenile.
On Twitter, February 20th Victor Faust from channel 7 News tweeted "should Michigan law be changed so Jayru Campbell won't be charged as an adult, he is 17 which is age of adult". I say yes the law should be changed. At the minimum it should not be mandatory that a 17 year old be charged as an adult with a felony crime, but it should be discretionary.
Specifically in Michigan the net is cast too broad. Children as young as 14 years old can be waived over to adult court for very violent crimes but their is no mechanism to differeniate between 17 year olds that commit less severe felony offenses and those that commit gross felony offenses. Science has shown that maturation is closer to 25 years old. There is no other time a 17 year old is considered an adult.
Kym Worthy was quoted in Gus Burns article, www.mlive.com February 11, stating about Jayru Campbell "it doesn't matter how fast you run the law applies to everyone, we don't charge people or not, based on their station in life" . If Campbell was able to be charged as a juvenile one would consider his overall station in life in the process of determining the best rehabilitation programs for him.
A move toward valuing our youth more seems very much in line with your overall vision for the state of Michigan Governor Snyder. I ask that you put this issue on your immediate agenda and pass a law to consider 17 year olds as a juvenile in Michigan courts. This type of law change has majority national support and there is much evidence to support the shift. If you change the law Governor Snyder allow Jayru Campbell to be the first 17 year old to be waived back to Family Court for Juvenile Justice.
Thank you so much for your time Governor Snyder, please read the original petition and many comments of support for Jayru Campbell. Prayers up God be with us all.
A Concerned Parent,
Mobile Michigan.Gov - Foster Youth in Transition | DHS - Legal Assistance
17-year-olds to be treated as juveniles in Massachusetts courts under law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick | masslive.com
Mobile Michigan.Gov - Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan | Governor - General Board and Commisson Information
States move away from charging youth in adult justice system
Prosecuting kids as adults: Some states ponder changes - USATODAY.com
We the people support our youth and we want to see them prosper. This is a time to stand together and let our voices be heard. We will not continue to watch our youth be thrown away. Teenager Jayru Campbell has done so much positively for the city of Detroit and Michigan by way of Example. Since his start as a freshman at Cass Tech High school in 2010 he has helped make Detroit Public School History by demonstrating exemplary leadership on the Varsity Football field. He has achieved feats and records as a freshman quarterback, sophomore, and junior that will be hard to meet. His dynamic athleticism helped lead Cass Tech Varsity Football team to Win 2 back to back State Championships. The third year, 2013, they were upset, and lost the game leading to the State Championship round, but they still had a stellar performance. All the while, Jayru has met high academic standards while attending Cass Tech.
Thanks to local and national print/media like ESPN coverage and social media tools like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook Jayru has become a role model for many youth around the United States of America. He has been an inspiration to people of all ages, and is a house hold name. We believe in Jayru’s abilities and his future. In the wake of the in school altercation between Jayru and a security guard, which led to Jayru’s arrest. We the people were outraged that Jayru Campbell was charged as an adult. We do not believe adult charges and 2 felony charges fit the crime that Jayru Campbell allegedly committed. He is remorseful of his actions and has the support of his parent’s coaches and community. We believe he should be shown leniency, and be tried as a juvenile and have structured programs to help him stay on track in the future, if he is found guilty of any crime.
There are Detroiters who have come before Jayru, children and adults that had a brush with the law, but were given a chance or multiple chances to turn around alleged criminal circumstances. Children specifically have allegedly committed far worse crimes or equivalent and were able to bypass harsh charges and or prison time. Children that had not contributed to the city of Detroit in a significant or positive way. There will be children and adults after him who will be afforded a chance or chances. We believe Jayru Campbell’s exceptional actions and behaviors, and all he has done in helping shine a positive light in and on the city of Detroit and the State of Michigan has more than demonstrated he deserves an opportunity and a chance. Let’s get it right this time and come on one accord and help fight the good fight of supporting our youth. Instead of harping on the fact that giving a chance may send the wrong message, realize that by not helping our youth overcome, we are sending them a certain message on their value. Prayers up God be with him and his family. Having Faith the Outcome will be in Jayru Campbell’s favor. Spread this Message and Sign to Support. Thanks in Advance a Concerned Parent.
Jnai Porter started this petition with a single signature, and now has 4,512 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.