Illinois 1st to ban lying to juveniles in interrogations

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday signed the nation’s first law prohibiting police from lying to juveniles during criminal interrogations.

The measure, which is intended to reduce false confessions by young people, was one of four pieces of legislation the Democrat signed, he said, to “change the laws that have failed the people they serve.”

Chicago Democrats Sen. Robert Peters and Rep. Justin Slaughter sponsored the juvenile bill. It bans detectives from using deceptive practices when questioning minors in criminal investigations. Experts say young people are far more likely than adults to offer false confessions.

It takes effect Jan. 1, along with another plan allowing a county prosecutor to seek re-sentencing for an offender if the original sentence “no longer advances the interests of justice.”

Having an immediate effect is a law requiring a study of ways to reduce the state’s prison population through similar re-sentencing action and a law that allows offenders to participate in so-called restorative justice programs, in which offenders reconcile with victims. It encourages participation by precluding offenders’ statements from being used against them in future proceedings.

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