HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

217

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO CHILDREN.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that developmental and neurological science concludes that the process of cognitive brain development continues into adulthood, and that the human brain undergoes dynamic changes throughout adolescence and well into young adulthood.

The legislature recognizes that the Supreme Court of the United States has found that children "'generally are less mature and responsible than adults'". J.D.B. v. North Carolina, 564 U.S. 261, 272 (2011) (quoting Eddings v. Oklahoma, 455 U.S. 104, 115-116 (1982)). They "'often lack the experience, perspective, and judgment to recognize and avoid choices that could be detrimental to them'". J.D.B., 564 U.S. at 272 (quoting Bellotti v. Baird 443 U.S. 622, 635 (1979)). Children "'are more vulnerable or susceptible to . . . outside pressures' than adults". J.D.B., 564 U.S. at 272 (quoting Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 569 (2005)). They also "have limited understandings of the criminal justice system and the roles of the institutional actors within it". Graham v. Florida 560 U.S. 48, 78 (2010). Further, "children characteristically lack the capacity to exercise mature judgment and possess only an incomplete ability to understand the world around them". J.D.B., 564 U.S. at 273.

The legislature notes that custodial interrogation of an individual by the State requires that the individual be advised of the individual's rights to make a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of those rights before the interrogation proceeds. However, the legislature believes that children under sixteen years of age, unlike adults, cannot sufficiently comprehend the meaning of their rights and the consequences of a waiver.

The purpose of this Act is to require that when an officer has custody of a child for an alleged violation of law, the child shall consult with legal counsel before the child waives any constitutional rights and before any custodial interrogation.

SECTION 2. Chapter 571, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part IV to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"571- Consultation with counsel. (a) Before a custodial interrogation of and before the waiver of any right against self-incrimination by a child under the age of sixteen, the child shall consult with legal counsel in person, by telephone, or by video conference. The consultation may not be waived.

(b) The court, in determining the admissibility of statements of a child under the age of sixteen made during or after a custodial interrogation, shall consider the effect of any failure of the officer who had custody of the child to take steps to comply with subsection (a).

(c) This section does not apply to the admissibility of statements of a child under the age of sixteen if:

(1) The officer who questioned the youth reasonably believed that the information the officer sought was necessary to protect life or property from an imminent threat; and

(2) The officer's questions were limited to those questions that were reasonably necessary to obtain the information sought in paragraph (1)."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Children; Custody; Constitutional Rights

 

Description:

Requires that when an officer has custody of a child for an alleged violation of law, the child shall consult with legal counsel before the child waives any constitutional rights and before any custodial interrogation.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.