SB 395 - Protect Youth’s Constitutional Rights Against Coercive Interrogation

Currently in California, children—no matter how young— can waive their Miranda rights. Studies have demonstrated youth often do not fully comprehend the meaning and consequences of waiving their Miranda rights. They are much more likely than adults to waive their rights and to confess to crimes they did not commit.

Senate Bill 395, by Senator Ricardo Lara, will help to preserve youth’s constitutional rights and protect the integrity of our criminal justice system by requiring youth under the age of 18 to consult with legal counsel before they waive their Miranda rights.

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Setting a minimum age for juvenile justice jurisdiction in California
International Journal of Prisoner Health | March 2017
Despite the existence of minimum age laws for juvenile justice jurisdiction in 18 US states, California has no explicit law that protects children (i.e. youth less than 12 years old) from being processed in the juvenile justice system. In the absence of a minimum age law, California lags behind other states and international practice and standards. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

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