The U.S. Supreme Court has long held that police can use false information to convince a suspect to admit to criminal activity. This is done in a variety of ways, very often using the good cop/bad cop combination during the investigation process. Adults in Texas who have dealt with the state justice system before understand this tactic, and many times they invoke their 5th Amendment rights from the very beginning. However, minors are not as world-wise as adults in many ways, and they are commonly taught to believe police officers are actually benevolent entities just trying to get to the truth. The real truth is officers are trying to determine if they have a reason to arrest an individual and subject them to recidivism within the penal system.
The first issue with misrepresenting information in a juvenile crimes investigation is coercing the suspect to admit guilt falsely. The concept that the court will use anything you say against you is valid, and those who are not yet adults may not have a firm understanding of the police officer’s mission. They primarily want to arrest suspects for a variety of reasons that include power and ego.
Ongoing developmental issues
It is also a known fact that children are still in the developmental stage with respect to emotional growth and personally evolving into a productive member of society. Those who are forced into the prison system early as juvenile criminals tend to get caught in a revolving door, as incarceration often teaches them how to be more effective criminals. In several ways, lying to juveniles in an attempt to extract a confession is effectively manufacturing criminals for life-long internment into the system.
These are just the two primary reasons lying to juveniles during an investigation is not acceptable. While almost every state allows this practice, it assuredly should be reviewed throughout the nation.