Support Due Process for Children!

From the Maryland ACLU:

There is only one month left of the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session. We need your help to get a committee vote on one our priority bills – due process for children.

Every day in Maryland, children entangled in the criminal legal system are questioned without a parent or attorney present. As a result, they face criminal prosecution and incarceration without understanding their basic due process rights. This is particularly dire for Black and Brown children who are overpoliced. It’s unacceptable.

Tell members of the Judiciary Committee that children must have the opportunity to consult with an attorney before police can interrogate them.

In 1967, a landmark Supreme Court case, In re Gault, held that children have the right to remain silent and that no child can be convicted unless compelling evidence is presented in court, under the due process clause of the 14th amendment. Yet, in Maryland, law enforcement is not required to call parents or attorneys before a child is interrogated.

HB 624 is critical for protecting due process for children because:

  • Black and Brown children are the most harmed by over policing;
  • Children with disabilities fare worse in our legal system;
  • Young children are the most vulnerable when ensnared in the criminal legal system;
  • Children make better decisions with legal support; and
  • Legal support for children can help and the school-to-prison pipeline.

Judiciary Committee members have not yet put HB 624 up for a vote. Tell them to not only put it up for a vote, but also vote YES on the Child Interrogation Protection Act.

Thanks for taking action,

Justin Nalley

Justin Nalley
Policy Analyst, Education, ACLU of Maryland

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