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Published on June 3rd, 2013 | by Zamná Ávila

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Senate OKs Bill Protecting Minors from Coerced Confessions

SACRAMENTO – In response to research indicating that false confessions by children younger than 18 have led to an increase in wrongful convictions, the California Senate approved a measure that Sen. Ted W. Lieu authored, which requires law enforcement agencies statewide to videotape interviews of minors accused of homicide.

The Senate voted 36-0, May 29, on Senate Bill 569.

Specifically, SB 569 would:

        Require the interrogation of a minor who is suspected or accused of committing homicide to be videotaped by law enforcement agencies statewide.

        Provide various exceptions from the videotaping requirement.

        Require the prosecution to show by clear and convincing evidence that an exception applies to justify the failure to make that electronic recording.

SB 569 is co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union the California Public Defenders Association and the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

The measure now goes to the Assembly for review; no date has yet been set.

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