Today's Law As Amended


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

SB-203 Juveniles: custodial interrogation.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Developmental and neurological science concludes that the process of brain development continues into adulthood, and that the human brain undergoes significant changes throughout adolescence and well into young adulthood.
(b) The United States Supreme Court has recognized the following:
(1) Children are generally less mature and responsible than adults, often lacking the experience, perspective, and judgment to recognize and avoid choices that could be harmful to them.
(2) Children characteristically lack the capacity to exercise mature judgment and possess only an incomplete ability to understand the world around them.
(3) Children are generally more vulnerable to outside influences than adults and have limited understandings of the criminal justice system and the roles of the institutional actors within it.
(c) (1) Custodial interrogation of an individual by the state requires that the individual be advised of the individual’s rights and make a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of those rights before the interrogation proceeds.
(2) Youth under 18 years of age have a lesser ability than adults to comprehend the meaning of their rights and the consequences of waiving those rights.
(3) A large body of research has established that adolescent thinking tends to either ignore or discount future outcomes and implications, and disregard long-term consequences of important decisions.
(d) Addressing the specific context of police interrogation, the United States Supreme Court observed that events that would have a minimal impact on an adult can overwhelm an early teen child, noting that no matter how sophisticated the child may be, the interrogation of a child cannot be compared to the interrogation of an adult.
(e) The law enforcement community now widely accepts what science and the courts have recognized: that children and adolescents are much more vulnerable to psychologically coercive interrogations and other psychologically coercive dealings with the police than resilient adults experienced with the criminal justice system.
(f) For these reasons, in situations of custodial interrogation and prior to making a waiver of rights under Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 U.S. 436, a youth under 18 years of age should consult with legal counsel to assist in their understanding of their rights and the consequences of waiving those rights.

SEC. 2.

 Section 625.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

625.6.
 (a) Prior to a custodial interrogation, and before the waiver of any Miranda rights, a youth 15 17  years of age or younger shall consult with legal counsel in person, by telephone, or by video conference. The consultation may not be waived.
(b) The court shall, in adjudicating the admissibility of statements of a youth 15 17  years of age or younger made during or after a custodial interrogation, consider the effect of failure to comply with subdivision (a). (a) and, additionally, shall consider any willful violation of subdivision (a) in determining the credibility of a law enforcement officer under Section 780 of the Evidence Code. 
(c) This section does not apply to the admissibility of statements of a youth 15 17  years of age or younger if both of the following criteria are met:
(1) The officer who questioned the youth reasonably believed the information he or she  the officer  sought was necessary to protect life or property from an imminent threat.
(2) The officer’s questions were limited to those questions that were reasonably necessary to obtain that information.
(d) This section does not require a probation officer to comply with subdivision (a) in the normal performance of his or her the probation officer’s  duties under Section 625, 627.5, or 628.
(e) (1) The Governor, or his or her designee, shall convene a panel of at least seven experts, including all of the following:
(A) A representative of the California Public Defenders Association.
(B) A representative of the California District Attorneys Association.
(C) A representative of a statewide association representing law enforcement.
(D) A representative of the judiciary.
(E) A member of the public possessing expertise and experience in any or all of the following:
(i) The juvenile delinquency or dependency systems.
(ii) Child development or special needs children.
(iii) The representation of children in juvenile court.
(F) A member of the public who, as a youth, was involved in the criminal justice system.
(G) A criminologist with experience in interpreting crime data.
(2) (A) The panel shall be convened no later than January 1, 2023, and shall review the implementation of this section and examine the effects and outcomes related to the implementation of this section, including, but not limited to, the appropriate age of youth to whom this section should apply.
(B) No later than April 1, 2024, the panel shall provide information to the Legislature and the Governor, including, but not limited to, relevant data on the effects and outcomes associated with the implementation of this section. A report submitted to the Legislature pursuant to this subparagraph shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(3) Members of the panel shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties on the panel.
(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2025, and as of that date is repealed.