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04/22/2021 02:17 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=32763
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 1, 2020 01:36 PM
From: Representative Dan L. Miller
To: All House members
Subject: Simplified Miranda Rights for Minors
 
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, arguing that minors may not be able to fully comprehend their Miranda rights while in the custody of law enforcement. A 2013 study by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACA) found that juveniles are at a heightened risk of false confession in interrogative settings. The study also found that the pressure of standard interrogation tactics, combined 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. Despite these concerns, standard Miranda warnings continue to be used with juveniles in Pennsylvania.

In light of this, I will be re-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.

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 protecting the rights of minors in Pennsylvania.

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Introduced as HB84