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Lawmakers Consider Bill That Would Prohibit Certain Interrogation Tactics Used on Minors

Posted on March 15, 2023 in Juvenile Crimes

stamford defense lawyerConnecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that will prohibit law enforcement from deliberately lying to minors while interrogating them. If the bill becomes law, it would make any kind of statement, admission, or confession made by a defendant under the age of 18 inadmissible if it was obtained due to deceptive interrogation tactics by police.

According to statistics collected by the ACLU of Connecticut, almost 30 percent of wrongful convictions in Connecticut involved cases where police lied or coerced defendants into making false confessions, including children. The bill would require police to prove “by clear and convincing evidence” that the statement was obtained without using these tactics.

Proposed New Law

Earlier this week, public hearings were held that gave the opportunity for people to speak out their support or opposition to the proposed legislation. Some of the proponents of the bill that testified were people who had been convicted as minors following false confessions that were obtained during police interrogations where the officers used deceptive tactics to elicit the confessions. There were also attorneys who had worked with multiple clients who were minors that had confessed to crimes they did not actually commit following police interrogations.

One group testifying at the hearing was the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association. The group said they supported the intent of the bill. However, there were certain changes to the language of the bill they would like to see changed, including the area of the bill that addressed prohibiting police from using or threatening to use physical force. The Association recommended that something should be added that would allow police to use physical force in some situations, such as when the defendant is threatening self-harm or harm to someone else. That recommendation was referred to as a “loophole” by one defendant advocacy group.

Contact a Fairfield County Defense Attorney

Current Connecticut law does allow police to use deceptive interrogation tactics with juveniles and until or if this new law is passed, many minors will confess to crimes they did not commit because of intimidation, desire to please, or another one of the proven reasons children make false confessions.

If your child has been charged with a crime, contact a Stamford, CT juvenile defense attorney right away. The sooner we can begin to build a solid defense, the better the opportunity for a positive outcome for you child’s case is. Call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.