- Associated Press - Thursday, May 5, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A measure guaranteeing that juveniles under the age of 15 have a lawyer during interrogations in murder investigations is heading to the Illinois House.

The Illinois Senate overwhelmingly approved an amended version of a plan by Democratic Sen. Patricia Van Pelt on Thursday. Van Pelt initially proposed a measure guaranteeing legal representation to juveniles under 18 in murder investigations. Illinois law already requires legal aid to children under 13 during these interrogations.

Van Pelt says children often falsely confess to crimes because they don’t understand the process.

She said the proposal would also require videotaping such interrogations and simplifying language describing to juveniles their rights.

Some Republicans said the measure - while not meeting the sponsor’s original goal - was a big step forward.


This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Van Pelt’s last name.



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