SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (AP) — Illinois became the first state Saturday to pass a bill that will ban police from lying to youth during interrogations — a practice that adds significantly to the risk of false confessions and wrongful convictions.
It is expected to be signed into law by the governor in the coming weeks.
Though few Americans realize it, police regularly deceive suspects during questioning to try to secure confessions, from saying DNA placed them at the scene of a crime to claiming eyewitnesses identified them as being the perpetrator.
An expert says minors—who have been found to be two to three times more likely to confess to crimes they didn’t commit—are especially vulnerable to such pressure. Oregon and New York are considering similar legislation.