Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Stats show teens are in danger in the interrogation room

Did you know that in 2011, which is the most recent year that data is available for this statistic, there were 1.5 million teenagers that were arrested across the United States? Depending on your view of the world, you may think that's a little or a lot -- but what makes this statistic so staggering is a new report on how teenagers deal with the arrest soon after they are put in handcuffs.

According to an investigation of video footage of 57 teens who were interrogated by police, none of the teens invoked their constitutional rights. None of them even had a criminal defense attorney by their side during the interrogation. 31 percent of the teenagers made incriminating statements during these interrogations, and 37 percent made full confessions.

 

The statistics aren't just staggering -- they portray a world where teenagers are legitimately a danger to themselves when they arrested. It's appalling that the police would use a teenager's inexperience and lack of knowledge about the law against them. Teens and juveniles have no concept of what they are allowed to do and what they can refrain from doing when they are in an interrogation room, and this can lead to disastrous results.

When a young person is arrested, they need legal representation to help them understand the gravity of their situation -- and also to protect their rights. Of course, as of right now, we can only make a moral plea to the police and suggest that they not take advantage of young people who don't know any better.

Source: New York Times, "In Interrogations, Teenagers Are Too Young to Know Better," Jan Hoffman, Oct. 13, 2014

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