Illinois lawmakers pass bill banning deceptive tactics during interrogations of juveniles
Illinois lawmakers on Sunday passed new legislation banning the use of deceptive tactics while interrogating minors, CNN reports.
If signed into law, the bill will prohibit the use of lying as a means of coercing information out of minors. Confessions made under such circumstances would be inadmissible in court.
The legislation defines deception as “knowingly providing false information about evidence or leniency.”
The state is the first to pass such a bill, which garnered bipartisan support, notes CNN.
State Sen. Robert Peters (D), a sponsor of the bill, said that minors are easily influenced by their surroundings while being questioned by law enforcement. Acting out of fear may affect their actions, he argued.
“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 in a statement.
He added that law enforcement should not be able to lie to youths in order to push their own narratives.
“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,” he said. “It’s a disgusting practice, and I’m glad that my colleagues in the General Assembly agree.”
The American Psychological Association echoes Peters, stating that children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to deception during questioning.
The bill is now headed to the desk of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) for signature.