June 17th, 2011 10:54am
by Karen Voyles
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling this week that appears to require children to be read their Miranda rights before being questioned by law enforcement. The judges also issued a ruling about federal prison sentences.
The high court ruled that police and lower court judges must consider a child’s age when deciding whether they should have been advised of their legal rights.
The justices wrote in their opinion that, “Children will often feel bound to submit to police questioning when an adult in the same circumstances” would not. The justices also said, “Children cannot be viewed simply as miniature adults,” because they are susceptible to being influenced due to their immaturity.
The nation’s top justices issued a ruling in another case that state federal judges cannot exceed sentencing guidelines to promote rehabilitation.