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Illinois OKs bill banning police deception to young suspects

Illinois Legislature
Posted at 9:35 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 21:35:13-04

Springfield, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has become the first state to pass a bill that will ban police from lying to youth during interrogations -- a practice that adds significantly to the risk of false confessions and wrongful convictions.

The bill passed Sunday is expected to be signed into law by the governor in the coming weeks.

Though few Americans realize it, police regularly deceive suspects during questioning to secure confessions, from saying DNA placed them at the scene of a crime to claiming eyewitnesses identified them as the perpetrator.

Interrogation experts say minors are especially vulnerable to such tactics and be two to three times more likely to confess to crimes they didn't commit.

According to the Associated Press, although it's legal in all 50 states for police to lie during interrogations, two states consider similar legislation.

In Oregon, the bill, which a former law enforcement officer sponsors, was passed this week in the House. It heads to the Senate next.

In New York, the bill is still pending, and it would apply to minors and adults.

There, several infamous wrongful convictions with minors have happened because of deceptive interrogation techniques.

This includes the Central Park Five. In 1989, police coerced five Black and Latino teens to wrongfully confess to raping a white woman jogging in Central Park.

They were exonerated in 2002.