Stop Deceptive Police Interrogations of Youth in Illinois

Yusef Salaam, 15, second from left, and Raymond Santana, 14, right, are led from the 24th Precinct by a detective after their arrest in connection with the rape and beating of a woman jogging in Central Park. Salaam, Santana, Korey Wise, and Antron McCray were wrongly convicted and spent precious years of their life behind bars. (AP Photo/David Burns)

Protect Youth from Wrongful Convictions

It may be hard to believe, but the use of deceptive tactics in the interrogation room is completely legal. Police can legally lie to suspects about the presence of all types of evidence for the purpose of leveraging them into confessing. We’ve known for a long time now that this has devastating consequences. 

In Illinois, 100 innocent people have been exonerated after falsely confessing to serious crimes.  The risk of young people falsely confessing is well documented to be greater than that of adults, and they especially deserve protection from the use of deceptive tactics to obtain confessions. 

This year, Illinois lawmakers have the opportunity to end this practice to prevent more wrongful convictions of youth by passing Senate Bill 2122. The bill would prohibit investigators from knowingly communicating false facts about evidence and unauthorized statements regarding leniency when interrogating youth in custody, which can lead to false confessions instead of reliable ones. 

Use the form above to connect to your state senator to express support and/or ask them to co-sponsor both Senate Bill 2122 and its Senate Amendment 001 or call 872-278-2079 to be connected, to protect young people in Illinois from wrongful conviction. 

This campaign is in partnership with the Center on Wrongful Convictions and the Illinois Innocence Project.

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