Instructional style is engaging and highly effective.
With the passage of Proposition 57 in California, labeled the “Rainbows and Unicorns Act” by the former attorney general, many cases originally charged in adult court are being transferred back juvenile court. Interestingly, in the juvenile system there appears to be a presumption that even the hardened youthful criminals are somehow less culpable for their crimes and less understanding of their legal rights due to their age and nothing more. It is important that officers, especially those taking statements from juveniles, remember that valid Miranda waivers and normal interrogation techniques are as valid today as they were in December.
MIRANDA WAIVERS BY JUVENILES
Remember there is no requirement that a minor be advised and waive the opportunity to speak to a parent or to have a parent present during questioning. If a child asks for a parent the court will look at voluntariness of the statement in determining whether the statement is admissible.
Courts have consistently held that juveniles can give valid waivers and make voluntary confessions. The leading case dates back to the 80’s in which the minor was 14 years old and had been involved in six homicides. In In re Jessie L (1982) 131 Cal.App.3d 202, the court found that “[a] minor has the capacity to make a voluntary confession. The admissibility of such a statement depends not upon his age alone but a combination of that factor with other circumstances such as his intelligence, education, experience, and ability to comprehend the meaning and effect of his statements.”
The minor was advised of his Miranda rights and stated that he understood those rights and wished to talk. No promises were made to him. At no time did defendant request a lawyer, a parent, a probation officer, or close relative to be present.
Interestingly, in In re Jessie L, the defendant wanted to have the court notice evidence that was gathered after his arrest. Specifically, the defendant referred the police report of Edward’s interrogation and the diagnostic study and probation officer’s report for purposes of sentencing. Defendant contended that he was “functioning below his age level.” The allegation was taken from the tests given for the diagnostic study, which showed that appellant was in the ninth grade and had achieved between the fifth and seventh grade levels on basic school skills. However, his I.Q. test was 89 and he was described as “of average intellectual potential” and “average intelligence.” There was no evidence of psychosis or brain damage. The police report of the interrogation confirmed rather than detracted from the finding that appellant understood his rights. When the officer first started to read the Miranda rights, appellant interrupted saying, “You don’t have to do that. I already know them.” Nevertheless, the officer completed the reading of the Miranda rights and the juvenile questionnaire. The report indicated that during the interrogation appellant appeared very calm and showed no emotion regarding the murder, stating, “It just wasn’t necessary.”
There are a myriad of cases such as this where the defense argued that the defendant operated with a low IQ and below their grade level. Although the defense and juvenile “justice” warriors believe these issues have not been taken into consideration before today, it is clear these issues have been litigated for the past thirty-five years. As an updated officer, insure that you take a valid Miranda waiver, do not coerce, threaten or promise during an interview with a minor and your statement should be bullet proof.
Instructional style is engaging and highly effective.
The information presented was highly relevant to my job and was presented in a manner that was organized and very easy to digest.
It not often that you go to a training that you really, really want to pay attention to. Because of the high quality information and style of presentation, I knew that if I looked away I was going to miss out.
This was, by far and away the best training I have received in 15 plus years of Law Enforcement. The instructors are experienced, engaging, articulate, and very entertaining. I will be recommending this training to multiple agencies.
This was, by far, one of the most useful training classes I've attended since becoming an investigator.
Incredible training with amazing real world instruction. I have been taking law enforcement classes for over 30 years and by far this is the best presented and most useful.
I highly recommend this training for any Probation staff who have the necessity to interview/interrogate individuals for investigation purposes.
This training by far has been the most informative and most effective I've attended. The instructors engaged the students in a manner that made me want to speak my opinion, ask questions, and participate.
I will continue to use and pass on this information because I really believe in the instructors and their approach.
Your training gave me the confidence and tools to interview the suspect for over 5 hours and to bring a closure to the case.
Effective teaching teams! The presentation of the material was consistently interesting, and intelligent without being too intellectualized.
This training provided the useful tools necessary for assessing the veracity of a suspected child abuser, which goes a long way in helping to protect children.
Your training has made the greatest and most direct impact on my assignment of any training class that I've taken.