During police interrogations, the officers are allowed to lie to suspects in hopes of either drawing a confession or misleading them into anything that will help their case in the prosecution of the people in custody.
According to USA Today, Illinois may become the first state to prohibit police from lying to minors during interrogations. Critics have stated that this tactic significantly increases the risk of obtaining false confessions.
A bill that the Illinois General Assembly recently passed, “amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 and the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Provides that an oral, written, or sign language statement of a minor, who at the time of the commission of the offense was under 18 years of age, made as a result of a custodial interrogation conducted at a police station or other place of detention on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act shall be presumed to be inadmissible as evidence in a criminal proceeding or a juvenile court proceeding for an act that if committed by an adult would be a misdemeanor offense under the Sex Offenses Article of the Criminal Code of 2012 or a felony offense under the Criminal Code of 2012 if, during the custodial interrogation, a law enforcement officer, juvenile officer, or other public official or employee, knowingly engages in deception.”
Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign it into law in the coming weeks.
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State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) released a statement pertaining to the bill:
“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,” Peters said. “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.
“Senate Bill 2122 provides that if during an interrogation, a law enforcement officer intentionally engages in deception of a minor under the age of 18, any statements provided the minor would [be] inadmissible as evidence in court. Under the legislation, deception is defined as ‘knowingly providing false information about evidence or leniency.’ Police officers should not be able to lie to kids for their own gain, period. It’s a disgusting practice, and I’m glad that my colleagues in the General Assembly agree.”