A bill that prohibits the police from lying and using deceptive tactics when conducting interrogations with minors passed the Illinois General Assembly on May 30, 2021, garnering near-unanimous support from both Democrats and Republicans.
Although lying during interrogations is legal in Illinois but the bill’s supporters say this technique often results in false confessions.
If signed into law, Illinois would become the first state in the country to ban law enforcement officials from knowingly providing a person under 18 years of age with false facts about evidence or promising the minor leniency if he/she cooperates with authorities.
Under the legislation, if an officer knowingly deceives a minor during an interrogation, any statements made by the minor is inadmissible in court.
According to the Innocence Project, false confessions have contributed to approximately 30 percent of all wrongful convictions that were later overturned by DNA evidence. Furthermore, a 2017 study published in the New York University Law Review shows that minors are two to three times more likely provide a false confession compared to adults.
Over the past 30 years, there have been 100 wrongful convictions involving false confessions, which includes 31 cases involving minors. A disproportionate number of wrongful convictions involving deceptive practices were against young African Americans.
The bill now heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.
If you or a loved one has been falsely accused of a crime in Chicago, look no further than the Law Office of Steven Fine to protect your rights and freedom. Attorney Steven Fine has more than two decades of criminal defense experience, handling juvenile crimes. Contact us today at (312) 436-0638!