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Almost everyone in America—at least anyone old enough to watch a television crime show—has heard of Miranda warnings. They derive from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1966 decision in Miranda v. Arizona. The warnings are the admonitions that a law enforcement officer must give to a suspect before a custodial interrogation.

The Supreme Court summarized the Miranda holding in the following terms: the suspect “must be warned prior to any questioning that he has the right to remain silent, that anything he says can be used against him in a court of law, that he has the right to the presence of an attorney, and that if he cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for him prior to any questioning if he so desires.”

But what if the suspect being interrogated is a juvenile? Should any additional or different rules apply? After all, our courts have often recognized that “delinquency proceedings in juvenile court are fundamentally different from criminal proceedings,” State v. Ledbetter, 263 Conn. 1, 13 (2003), and “‘adjudication as a juvenile rather than prosecution as an adult carries significant benefits, chief among which are a determination of delinquency rather than criminality … [and] limitations with respect to sentencing.” Id. at 14. Furthermore, it is now widely acknowledged that “developments in psychology and brain science continue to show fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds.” Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 68 (2010).

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