Lying to minors during interrogations should be illegal
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Rule 603 (Oath or Affirmation to Testify Truthfully) of the Federal Rules of Evidence is unambiguous: “Before testifying, a witness must give an oath or affirmation to testify truthfully. It must be in a form designed to impress that duty on the witness’s conscience.” The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that similar language does not apply to police officers when they are interrogating a suspect. Frazier v. Cupp, 394 U.S. 731 (1969). Nonetheless, a small number of states have banned police from lying or being deceptive when interrogating minors. New York should follow suit. ¶ Defendants in criminal cases, including minors, are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and a false confession elicited by deceptive tactics should certainly not be considered a reliable indicator of culpability. By recording interrogations and prohibiting deceptive practices during custodial interrogations, New York will be placing itself at the “forefront of fairness and transparency in the justice system.” Senate Bill S324A. Indeed, protecting our children from falsely incriminating themselves should be a crucial consideration for law enforcement agencies, district attorney offices, and our legislators alike.
Pollack, D. & Weiss, H. (2022, April 21). Lying to minors during interrogations should be illegal, New York Law Journal, https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2022/04/21/lying-to-minors-during-interrogations-should-be-illegal/?slreturn=20220327130720 .
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