Friday, March 07, 2008

House Committee Approves Kids in Court Bill

A state House committee has approved a bill that would give children new rights when they testify in court.

The House Special Committee on Family Services gave the ok to a idea spearheaded by Springfield Rep. Bob Dixon that defines how child witnesses can be treated. He introduced the measure because of concerns for child witnesses, who may have suffered abuse or mistreatment before they have to take the stand.

“It is part of a much larger effort within the Springfield community to address the needs of children who have been abused, one in which I have been proud to participate," Rep. Dixon said in a statement.

The Children's Bill of Rights will ensure the following provisions:
  • That a child can testify at a time of day when that child is best able to understand questions and handle stresses of testifying

  • That a child can have a comfort item, such as a teddy bear or doll

  • That a child can have the presence of a supporter

  • That a child be questioned in a manner that is neither intimidating or frightening.
A full vote from the House is needed before the measure heads towards the Senate. The measure is House Bill 1611.




Shameful that kids would ever have to BE in court... but at least they now have a bill o' rights.

Thanks, Rep Dixon.

Bob Brandon said...

Pretty stupid bill: violates the rights of the accused.

Will enable one parent to get away with coaching the testimony of a child against the other parent. Will only perjury problems with witnesses worse.