Thursday, September 1, 2016

CA: Miranda Rights for those 18 years or younger.

Thank you for raising your voice and making a difference. After hundreds of phone calls and advocacy from partners and allies like you, Senate Bill 1052—a bill that requires youth under the age of 18 to consult with legal counsel before they give up their constitutional Miranda rights—passed both houses of the California Legislature!

There’s only one more step needed to establish a critical safeguard for our youth: the Governor’s signature. Will you speak up to urge Governor Brown to sign SB 1052 into law?

Link to bill: 

SB 1052, as amended, Lara. Custodial interrogation: juveniles.

Existing law authorizes a peace officer to take a minor into temporary custody when that officer has reasonable cause to believe that the minor has committed a crime or violated an order of the juvenile court. In these circumstances, existing law requires the peace officer to advise the minor that anything he or she says can be used against him or her, that he or she has the right to remain silent, that he or she has a right to have counsel present during any interrogation, and that he or she has a right to have counsel appointed if he or she is unable to afford counsel.
Currently in California, children—no matter how young— can waive their Miranda rights without truly understanding them. Research demonstrates that young people often don’t comprehend the meaning of Miranda rights like the right against self-incrimination and the right to an attorney.

Youth are also much more likely than adults to waive their Miranda rights and confess to crimes they did not commit. (Note: Actually MANY adults are not aware of their Miranda rights; and rights to privacy.)

Ensuring that youth understand their rights protects our youth and the integrity of our juvenile justice system. Urge Governor Brown to sign SB 1052 into law with a personal letter.

In solidarity,

Patricia Soung
Senior Staff Attorney | Children's Defense Fund - California
Dominique D. Nong
Senior Policy Associate | Children's Defense Fund - California

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