Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Missouri Lower House OKs ‘Children’s Bill of Courtroom Rights’

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CN) - The Missouri House of Representatives approved a "Children's Bill of Courtroom Rights" by 100-48 vote. It prohibits lawyers from raising their voices to children, and requires that attorneys' questions and the oath to tell the truth be phrased so that children understand them, among other things.

The bill, which goes now to the state Senate, also requires courts to consider children's nap, school and medication schedules; allow child witnesses to have comfort items such as teddy bears or dolls with them, and a family member or support person in court during testimony; and allows judges to make child witnesses more comfortable.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob Dixon, said it will make the courtroom a fair place so children can tell their story.

Opponents, many of them attorneys, said that judges with common sense were already making adjustments for children; they said they feared that the bill could cover criminal defendants who qualified as adults.

Follow @@joeharris_stl
Categories / Uncategorized

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.

Loading...