The Legislature yesterday passed a bill to revise the procedure for custodial interrogations of minors.  SB 1052, if signed by the governor, would require a non-waivable consultation by a minor with legal counsel before a custodial interrogation and before the waiver of any Miranda rights.  There is an exception for obtaining information an officer believes is “necessary to protect life or property from a substantial threat.”

The legislation was inspired, at least in part, by Justice Goodwin Liu’s dissenting statement (concurred in by Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar) from the denial of review last year in In re Joseph H., the high-profile case of a 10-year-old who shot and killed his neo-Nazi father and who was found by the Court of Appeal to have knowingly waived his Miranda rights.  In an analysis of the proposed legislation (see Senate Public Safety Committee report here), the bill’s author — Senator Ricardo Lara — quoted from Justice Liu’s statement.

In his statement, Justice Liu said the Joseph H. case raised “an important legal issue” and suggested that the “Legislature may wish to take up this issue in light of this court’s decision not to do so here.”  The Legislature has now done so.

The Joseph H. separate statement was the first from the denial of review in over 50 years.  It has happened in three more cases since then, including two last week.

Justice Liu’s separate statement influenced the Legislature.  It might also influence the U.S. Supreme Court; a certiorari petition in Joseph H. is pending there, with a ruling possible in less than a month.