My office just handles adults, for the most part, but one of my co. atty's is always telling me of some goofy rule in the Family Code, the violation of which results in suppressing evidence. As just 2 examples, he tells me the code specifies the color the Juv. interrogation room must be for a confession to be valid. Also, this room must be blessed by a family court judge, or any confessions made there are inadmissible.
Recently, the CCA ruled in Roquemore v. State, that the cops had violated Art. 52.02 of the Family Code when they detoured a few miles to pick up some stolen property, while on their way to magistrate the JD they had with them. As a result, the J.D., a confessed armed robber, had the recovered stolen property suppressed.
Such foolishness violates the very 1st purpose of government, which is to protect its citizens from criminals and foreign threats.
What do you think of the following amendment to the Family Code for the next legislature to consider:
"No violation of this Code shall result in the suppression of evidence in court, unless the violation would result in the suppression of evidence in criminal courts of record for adults."
What do you think?
Good luck in getting that passed. I think your chances are slim and none.
This problem is nothing, new juvenile processing offices have had to be approved for years. It may be a good thing in that the approval should follow federal guidelines as a minimum and counties that would otherwise be unfamiliar with those guidelines must get up to speed.
I've never heard of a problem with the color though? Is there a case out there on that?
As far as Roquemore, I disagree with the ruling, but 52.02 is pretty clear in where you can take a juvenile you have in custody and to look for stolen property is not listed.
Roquemore falls in line with the number of cases from the last two years holding that if the juvenile's parents weren't called immediately after they were taken into custody a subsequent confession will be inadmissible. While the 52.02 does call for that notification, it is difficult for me to see how the failure to do so should result in the supression of a confession.
As I was winding down for the year I started to review the varies posts. As the county attorney in charge of juveniles this idea by Breen sounds like a great idea!!!
Most prosecutores would not take advantage of juveniles and all these concerns protecting a juvenile's statement are to protect against an occasional over zealous cop, throwing out alot of good cases.
Why not have a system that is similar to the adult system? It would certainly teach the child about the real world. Every child has an attorney to protect them, not true for every adult. If the rules are good enough for adults, they certainly are good enough for children.
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