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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura passed a measure through the Senate that would protect vulnerable individuals from deceitful tactics in legal proceedings.

“There needs to be a serious conversation on police tactics needing an overhaul across the country,” said Ventura (D-Joliet).  “We need to build trust with our police and move toward safe and practical measures that don’t prey on vulnerable members of society and penalize them for not understanding interrogation tactics.”

Currently, a confession by a minor that was made as a result of a custodial interrogation conducted at a police station or other place of detention is presumed to be inadmissible in a criminal proceeding or a juvenile court proceeding as evidence against the minor if, during the custodial interrogation, a law enforcement officer or juvenile officer knowingly engages in deception.

With this new measure, the definition of a "protected person" would be expanded in provisions prohibiting the use of certain deceptive tactics by law enforcement during custodial interrogations. Instead of only covering minors, the revised definition includes both minors and persons with severe or profound intellectual or developmental disabilities.

“By working with police and having these conversations about necessary protocols needing to be changed, I believe we can build a better understanding and trust within our communities,” said Ventura. “Expanding the definition of individuals whose confessions may be presumed inadmissible under certain circumstances is necessary so that people with severe or profound intellectual disabilities will be protected from bad actors.”

House Bill 3253 passed through Senate on Thursday.