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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2018 10:49 AM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Simplified Miranda Rights for Minors
In the very near future, I will be introducing legislation that would require arresting law enforcement officers to read a simplified version of Miranda warnings prior to questioning a minor or suspected minor.

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement should consider the age of a suspect before questioning or taking the suspect into custody. The decision argued that minors may not be able to fully comprehend their Miranda rights while in the custody of law enforcement. A follow-up study by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACA) in 2013 found that juveniles are at a heightened risk of false confession in interrogative settings. Furthermore, the study found that the pressure of standard interrogation tactics, in combination with the complexity of the rights afforded to them, leaves juveniles in an especially vulnerable position, often incapable of acting in their own best interests. The American Bar Association (ABA) similarly published information detailing how children and adolescents falsely confess with startling frequency and are two to three times more likely to do so during an interrogation than adults.

My legislation reflects the recommended simplified version of Miranda rights put forth by the AACA to ensure that children in our Commonwealth are provided a full understanding of their constitutional right to protection from self-incrimination.

Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.

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Introduced as HB118