Illinois Governor JB Pritzker made history by signing the following bills into law: Senate Bill 2122, Senate Bill 64, Senate Bill 2129 and House Bill 3587. With his signature, Pritzker became the first state to bar police from "using deceptive tactics when interrogating young people."
"An essential tenet of good governance is recognizing the need to change the laws that have failed the people they serve. My administration has infused that value into everything we do," Prtizker said.
"The four bills I'm signing today advance the rights of some of our most vulnerable in our justice system and put Illinois at the forefront of the work to bring about true reform. Together, these initiatives move us closer to a holistic criminal justice system, one that builds confidence and trust in a system that has done harm to too many people for far too long."
Over the years, Illinois has built up a horrible reputation in regard to police deceiving minors. The Innocence Project has called Illinois the "false confession capital of the United States." In addition, the organization has found that children are two to three times more likely to confess to a crime they did not commit due to police deception. Moreover, false confessions are responsible for 30% of wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence.
"In Illinois alone, there have been 100 wrongful convictions predicated on false confessions, including 31 involving people under 18 years of age," Lauren Kaeseberg of The Innocence Project explained.
Moving forward, Illinois lawmakers hope these recent bills will help pave the way for change within police departments across the state and set a blueprint for other states to follow.
"Here in Illinois, whether it's paving the way for compassionate resentencing by recognizing the human potential for change or protecting our children by banning deceptive practices in police interrogations of minors, we are making it abundantly clear that justice can no longer be denied," Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton added.
"By bringing a restorative justice lens to policymaking, we are transforming our justice system and serving as a model for the nation."