The Vermont Senate unanimously approved a bill that would prevent law enforcement from misleading people about evidence or leniency during interrogations.
The bill, S.6, would bar prosecutors from using statements given by suspects aged 21 and under if police lied about evidence or potential leniency to elicit a confession. The bill also will create a uniform interrogation policy.
The ACLU, which has pushed for S.6’s passage, said Vermont officers can lie to suspects and witnesses during questioning, eliciting false confessions and derailing investigations. The tactics have played a role in about 30% of all wrongful convictions overturned by DNA.
If enacted, Vermont would join California, Delaware, Illinois, Oregon, and Utah, which passed similar bans in 2021 and 2022. It would also make Vermont the first state to enact a prohibition that applies to persons above the age of 18.
The bill now heads to the Vermont House of Representatives for further consideration.