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Illinois lawmakers draft bill to protect rights of juveniles

Illinois lawmakers are considering the creation of a bill that would require the presence of an attorney when police officers interrogate juveniles who are younger than 15 years of age in murder or sex offense investigations in an attempt to lower the rate of false confessions.

The bill would mandate that when police question anyone younger than 15 regarding a murder or sex crime, the police must read a simplified Miranda warning that informs the accused of their right to remain silent and have legal counsel. The bill also seeks to require the videotaping of interrogations of juveniles suspected of misdemeanor or felony cases.

Director of training at the National Juvenile Defender Center, Tim Curry, claims teenagers and children often have no idea how to invoke their right to an attorney. Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth co-director Laura Nirider agrees, saying “Children are vulnerable in the interrogation room and the result can be false confessions.”

The Bruno Law Offices have long been committed to protecting those accused of a crime in Urbana-Champaign and other areas of Illinois. To discuss how we can help you avoid a serious conviction, call our offices at (217) 328-6000.

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