Title

All Coercive State Interrogations, Including of Juveniles, Have Constitutional Due-Process Protections

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-18-2020

Publication Title

Cleveland Plain Dealer / cleveland.com

Keywords

Ohio Supreme Court, juveniles, coercion, confession, interrogation

Abstract

This op-ed criticizes a recent Ohio Supreme Court case, In re M.H., in which the Court held that the confession of a juvenile to a child protective services officer was voluntary. According to the Court's plurality opinion, a confession can be rendered involuntary only when a police officer conducts the interrogation. Thus, no matter what the child protective services investigator does during an interrogation, a resulting confession is always voluntary simply because the interrogator is not a police officer. Witmer-Rich criticizes this rule as inconsistent with fundamental principles of liberty and due process.

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