House Bill 419
151st General Assembly (Present)
Ready for Governor for action
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CUSTODIAL INTERROGATIONS.
Citing the increasing number of false confessions recorded by the National Registry of Exonerations and recent science around adolescent brain development, several states across the nation have passed legislation to ban the use of deceptive interrogation techniques on juveniles. Deceptive tactics is limited to the knowing use of misleading statements about evidence or communications of false promises of leniency to extract a confession or other incriminating evidence from a youth suspected of breaking the law. To date, Delaware has yet to have a wrongful conviction case involving a false confession but according to groups such as the Innocence Project, wrongful convictions can often take decades to be revealed. Three other states, Illinois, Utah and Oregon, have passed similar legislation. Additional states, including Colorado and California, are currently considering similar legislation. This Act mirrors efforts in other states by prohibiting the knowing use of false statements about evidence, or false or misleading promises of leniency during custodial interrogations of persons under the age of 18. Any statement elicited from a person in violation of this section is inadmissible in any subsequent juvenile delinquency or criminal court proceeding.
Takes effect upon being signed into law