Bill passed by Oregon Senate attempts to stop police from lying to get confessions from minor suspects

Senate Bill 418 would make statements inadmissible if made by a minor after investigators fed them false information.

Posted: May 24, 2021 4:33 PM
Updated: May 24, 2021 4:35 PM

SALEM, Ore. — A bill passed by the Oregon Senate attempts to bar investigators from lying to a minor during an interrogation in order to gain a confession.

Senate Bill 418, if passed by the House and signed into law, would presume statements made by a minor to be involuntary if the investigator "used information known by the officer to be false to elicit the statement."

The bill would allow the presumption to be overcome if the state can prove "by clear and convincing evidence" that the statement was voluntary and not made in response to the false information.

“Science, ethics and good law enforcement all agree, lying to kids during an investigation is a bad practice,” said Democratic Senator Chris Gorsek, chief sponsor of SB 418 and a former police officer. “Investigators should be doing the work to get the facts, not trying to trick a kid into a confession.”

Supporters of the bill cited studies that demonstrate juveniles have fundamental brain differences from adults, making them more susceptible to police interrogation tactics and indicating that they are less likely to understand their Miranda rights. Another study found that juveniles are two or three times more likely than adults to confess to criminal acts that they didn't commit.

“We know the data and we have the research,” said Senator Gorsek. “Tactics that include lying to youth during an investigation is not in the interest of justice. It can ruin lives, it erodes trust in the legal system, it is painful for victims and does not improve public safety. It’s wrong and it’s a practice that needs to end.”

Gorsek's office said that SB 418 received support from medical professionals, justice advocates, and some in law enforcement. The bill passed in the Senate with a vote of 24-4 and now goes on to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060666

Reported Deaths: 74152
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152491227121
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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