February 28, 2023

Bill that would make children’s statements mostly inadmissible if law enforcement lied to them passes Senate

Senate Bill 415, passed by the Indiana Senate Tuesday, would largely make statements made by children inadmissible in court if they have been lied to by law enforcement. - Charlotte Tuggle/WBAA News

Senate Bill 415, passed by the Indiana Senate Tuesday, would largely make statements made by children inadmissible in court if they have been lied to by law enforcement.

Charlotte Tuggle/WBAA News

A bill passed the Indiana Senate Tuesday that would largely make statements made by children inadmissible in court if they have been lied to by law enforcement.

Under current Indiana law, if a member of law enforcement knowingly lies about criminal evidence, information or consequences while interviewing a child, Indiana law allows the child’s statement to be used against them. Senate Bill 415 would prohibit these statements from being included in court proceedings.

Researchers testified about the proposed legislation earlier this month, and said youth don’t have the brain development to comprehend that an adult officer may be lying to them.

Bill author Sen. Rodney Pol (D-Chesterton) said he hopes the legislation will build trust between law enforcement and the community.

“It's wrong for you to lie to us, but we can lie to you,” Pol said. “That is something that I think has been problematic. And I think that this is a way that you could restore that trust.”

The bill unanimously passed the Senate and will move to the House.

Contact WFYI criminal justice reporter Katrina Pross at kpross@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @katrina_pross.

Pross is a Corps Member of Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.

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