Witnesses Ask Legislature to Toughen Child Marriage Laws

Mar 19, 2018

 Missouri lawmakers are considering a bill that would end the state's status as being the easiest place in the country for a 15-year-old to be married.

Missouri allows those 15 to 17 to marry with the permission of only one parent, even if the other parent objects. Also, anyone 14 and younger can get married with a judge's approval, The Kansas City Star reported.

KBIA file photo

  JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have endorsed creating new minimum sentences for minors convicted of first-degree murder.

The House voted 145-1 Thursday to approve the new guidelines, which would bring Missouri into line with a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that mandatory life sentences for minors were unconstitutional.

Rep. Robert Cornejo said that left Missouri without any valid sentencing options for minors guilty of first-degree murder, so prosecutors can currently only charge minors with second-degree murder.

The Missouri Gaming Association told regulators Wednesday that it is trying hard to keep underage patrons from getting into the state’s casinos.

Mike Winter, the association's Executive Director, told state gaming commission members that the use of fake ID's is the most common way minors try to get in – but there have also been cases where they tried to climb over walls, blend in with crowds, and in a few cases, sneak in with the help of their parents.  Barrett Hatches is chairman of the Missouri Gaming Commission.