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Bill would make juvenile confessions inadmissible if obtained by ‘deception’

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Rep. Travaris “Tray” McCurdy

Rep. Travaris “Tray” McCurdy

A Central Florida lawmaker has filed a measure that would make juvenile confessions inadmissible if obtained by “deception.”

Rep. Travaris “Tray” McCurdy, D-Orlando, filed HB 109 September 15. The bill faces hearings in the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee and Judiciary before reaching the House floor. So far, there is no Senate companion. The 60-day session convenes January 11.

The measure would deem confessions of suspects younger than 18 inadmissible if “knowingly” obtained through deception.

The measure would define deception as “the knowing communication of false facts about evidence or unauthorized statements regarding leniency by a law enforcement officer to a subject of custodial interrogation.” However, the measure states that the presumption of inadmissibility could be overcome by “a preponderance of the evidence that the confession was voluntary, based on the totality of the circumstances.”

The measure would become effective July 1, 2022.

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