It’s no surprise that juveniles are generally less able than adults to understand, and act upon, their legal rights while being questioned, but law enforcement proceeds as if they were well-informed adults with a full grasp of the situation. This legislation would have prohibited the questioning of a juvenile suspected of criminal activity without a parent or legal guardian present. A case recently handled by the ACLU, in which an 8-year-old girl was removed from a school bus, transported to the police, interrogated, and detained without her parents knowledge, encapsulates the need for this legislation. S 496 passed on the Senate floor recently, but the House version died in committee.
Juvenile Questioning (H 5334, S 496)
Representative Rebecca Kislak and Senator William J. Conley
Passed Senate, Died in House