CHICAGO – To enhance Illinois’ commitment to social justice and fair treatment under state law, state Rep. Justin Slaughter, D-Chicago, recently championed legislation that prevents law enforcement from using deceptive practices during interrogations with minors.
“Although we cannot reverse the damage from decades of ‘tough on crime’ policies, we have and will continue to take the necessary steps to make Illinois a more fair and just state,” said Slaughter. “We will not repeat the mistakes of the past by locking up countless young people for crimes that they didn’t do.”
Slaughter’s Senate Bill 2122 seeks to address Illinois’ longstanding problem with using deceptive practices to gather false confessions from minors to convict them. Deception refers to common tactics used by law enforcement such as lying about evidence or telling the suspect that they can make a deal to reduce the seriousness of their charges or sentence. The law will make any confession from minors gathered in this manner automatically inadmissible in court. Further, members of law enforcement are encouraged to use alternative methods that have a history of producing truthful confessions.
Signed recently by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Senate Bill 2122 will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.
“Our children are our future, and we cannot afford to recklessly imprison them for things that they did not do,” said Slaughter. “I will continue to stand up for the voiceless in our community and advocate for a criminal justice system that reflects the true values and spirit of Illinois.”