Legal Aid Society


Listen: Advocates Seek Protections for Minors Interrogated by Police

Martin Feinman, Director of Juvenile Justice Training for The Legal Aid Society, appeared on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom to explain how recently proposed legislation would codify a right to counsel for young New Yorkers before an interrogation with police.

The new law would ensure that a minor’s Miranda rights are not waived without legal input, a protection acknowledging the reality that without counsel minors may be easily coerced into making self-incriminating statements by police interrogators and that even the presence of a parent is no replacement for adequate legal defense.

“There’s a constitutional right – the 5th amendment right to remain silent and not to incriminate yourself. And to give that right meaning, we need to make sure that that right is never waved without someone truly understanding and appreciating it,” Feinman said.

“[What NYPD] is essentially saying is ‘we don’t want that person to fully appreciate what his rights, we want to continue to business as usual the way it is so that we can take advantage of these youth who don’t understand what these rights are and get statements from them.’”

Listen to the full episode below.