Backers of a get-tough juvenile justice measure that would give prosecutors new authority failed to muster legislative support last year. But they’ll be back in 2000, taking their controversial reforms directly to voters.

The March primary election ballot will contain a measure that would dramatically change the way California deals with young criminals, ranging from the neighborhood bike thief to the inner city gangbanger. Provisions would transfer from judges to prosecutors the authority to make key decisions in juvenile cases, including whether young offenders should be tried as adults.

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