INDIANAPOLIS — A new bill unanimously passed by Indiana Republicans and Democrats alike will prohibit cops from lying to children as part of interrogation efforts to secure confessions.
Senate Bill 415 passed through the Indiana Senate on Monday with a 48-0 vote after previously making its rounds through both the House and Senate. The bill will now be sent along to Governor Eric Holcomb’s desk where it will await being signed into law.
The new legislation states that any statement made by a juvenile during a police interrogation would be inadmissible in court if the juvenile is under the age of 18 and has been knowingly lied to by a police officer.
The legislation includes a good faith exemption if the officer believed the information was true at the time it was communicated to the juvenile.
“Protecting our children includes protecting them in interactions with law enforcement,” said Senator Rodney Pol (D-Chesterton), who authored the bill.
“The Corrections Committee heard expert testimony that explained how children can be easily influenced in these settings, especially when provided with false information. While I don’t believe that law enforcement frequently engages in providing false information to children, any time it does happen is harmful to children, their future, their family, and the justice system.”
An amendment was added to the legislation that requires police officers to make a reasonable attempt to contact the parents of a child who has been arrested or taken into custody.