Illinois lawmakers pass a bill banning police from deceiving juvenile suspects during interrogations

The Illinois state legislature approved a bill on Sunday prohibiting legislation enforcement officers from utilizing deception techniques whereas interrogating minors — who advocates have lengthy argued are especially vulnerable to creating false confessions.

Under the bill, confessions made by juvenile suspects who have been deceived by legislation enforcement officers during the interrogation course of can be deemed “inadmissible as evidence.”

“When a kid is in a stuffy interrogation room being grilled by adults, they’re scared and are more likely to say whatever it is they think the officer wants to hear to get themselves out of that situation, regardless of the truth,” state Sen. Robert Peters, one of many bill’s sponsors, mentioned in a statement.

“Police officers too often exploit this situation in an effort to elicit false information and statements from minors in order to help them with a case. Real safety and justice can never be realized if we allow this practice to continue.”

The bill, initially sponsored by Democrats Peters and state Rep. Justin Slaughter, handed with bipartisan assist, with state House Republican chief Jim Durkin additionally among the many dozens of co-sponsors.

The laws is ‘the primary of its form’

Illinois is the primary state to pass such a bill, based on the Innocence Project, a nonprofit group that works to exonerate these it believes to have been wrongfully convicted.
State legislatures in New York and Oregon have launched comparable payments.

“This historic legislation — the first of its kind to pass a state legislature — is a breakthrough in safeguarding against the wrongful convictions of young people,” Rebecca Brown, director of coverage on the Innocence Project, mentioned in a assertion.

“It is far more likely than one might think for someone, particularly a child, to confess out of fear, coercion, or desperation when deceptive tactics are used during an interrogation.”

Research exhibits that youngsters are two to 3 occasions extra possible than adults to falsely confess to a crime, based on a 2017 article printed within the New York University Law Review. That, in flip, additionally places them at higher danger of being wrongfully convicted.
In Illinois, about one-third of wrongful convictions primarily based on false confessions have concerned minors, based on Lauren Kaeseberg, authorized director on the Illinois Innocence Project.

The bill now goes to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk for signature.

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