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Senators Target State's Violent Crime Explosion with 'Get Tough' Legislation


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I don't see a bill filed yet, but this is what's coming.




Senators target state's violent crime explosion with 'get tough' legislation

Oct. 7, 2021

Republican state senators on Wednesday unveiled a package of legislation that pushes back against rising crime in the state while also funding tools they say will empower police. 


The legislation was revealed by state senators Chapin Rose of Mahomet, John Curran of Downers Grove, Jil Tracy of Quincy, Steve McClure of Springfield and Brian Stewart of Freeport. 


It also would establish mandatory sentencing of 10 years for first-time convictions on some firearms crimes, increasing the penalty for a second offense to life in prison. Certain violent juvenile crimes, such as aggravated vehicular hijacking and armed robbery, automatically would transfer to adult court. 


The legislation also would allow counties to opt out of current bail reform provisions passed in a controversial criminal justice overhaul and would automatically deny bail to repeat gun offenders. It also would enhance a tracking system for gun crimes and those convicted of such crimes. 



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Republicans call to ‘fund the police,’ prolong sentences for violent criminals

by: Mark Maxwell

Posted: Oct 7, 2021 / 12:09 AM CDT / Updated: Oct 7, 2021 / 12:09 AM CDT




Rietz said it’s often a lack of hard evidence, not lenient laws, that allows violent criminals to go free. She called for greater resources to fund street surveillance cameras and lab equipment to process evidence.


Moments before she sat down for an interview, prosecutors from Rietz’s office persuaded a judge not to reduce a one million dollar bond set for Johnny Weatherall, a 27-year-old Champaign man accused of shooting a teenage girl on her front steps on August 23rd.

“He’s facing a maximum possible penalty of 60 years incarceration,” Rietz said. “But does that stop a person from committing a crime when they are in the mindset to commit that crime? The research tells us, ‘no.'”


“The deterrent effect that a stiff penalty can have is that it deters that individual from being able to commit that offense again,” she said, but added, “the harder part that we prosecutors face is being able to prove our case, beyond a reasonable doubt, to a jury of 12 citizens when we don’t have cooperative witnesses, when the word on the street is, ‘Don’t snitch,’ and when we don’t have the evidence to make our case.”


She described difficult cases with scant evidence as a “poker game” where the suspect is playing a hand and betting the government doesn’t have a strong case. She scoffed at Rose’s proposal that would require prosecutors to show their hand and justify any plea bargains in writing, warning such a requirement could backfire and put cooperating witnesses in harm’s way.


Rose said his plan would “require any State’s Attorney in this state who plea bargains down a gun crime to put it in writing so the citizens who elect them will be able to hold them accountable for the decisions they made.”


“He should know better,” Rietz said, referring to Rose’s prior work as a traffic court prosecutor.


“This is not a solution,” Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) responded. “This is dog whistle politics from people who just like to round up poor people. They don’t know what they’re talking about.”


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The Illinois Senate Republican Caucus has a list of the proposals.  I think a lot of this was filed more because we're approaching an election year than out of any reasonable expectation that these bills would be moved, for the most part.  In any event we will oppose some, like Class X felonies as a mandatory minimum sentence.


The legislative package includes:


Fund the Police Act

  • SB 2918 : Creates Fund the Police Grant Fund with $100,000,000 with appropriations to the ILETSB to make grants to local governments and universities to hire police officers, purchasing equipment designed to prevent gang violence, motor vehicle theft, carjacking, or sale of contraband, and training for law enforcement in preventing gang violence, motor vehicle theft, carjacking, or the sale of contraband. This includes mental health, hiring and retention incentives, and overtime.


Eliminate Good Time for Weapons Offenses and Attacks on Law Enforcement Officers

  • SB 2916: Requires a defendant who commits Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
  • SB 2917 : Requires a defendant who brings a weapon or contraband into a penal institution serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.


Ending Deadly Delay

  • SB 2927 : Requires Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority to track gun crimes by convicted felons. Amended to include real time reporting by county of gun offenses charged and outcome of the case.
  • SB 2926: Requires State’s Attorneys to provide written justification when a weapons offense is plea bargained down to a lesser offense or non-weapons offense. Similarly, in imposing a sentence, the judge shall set forth in a written sentencing order his/her reasons for imposing the sentence or accepting the plea agreement.
  • SB 2924 : Allows a school or school district to employ qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry out the duties of a school resource officer.

Getting Serious on Gun Crime:

  • SB 2928: First time conviction of the following offenses receives a mandatory 10 year sentence, second offense receives life sentence.
  • Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm.
  • Use of a stolen or illegally acquired firearm in the commission of an offense.
  • Unlawful use or possession of weapons by felons.
  • Armed Habitual Criminal.
  • SB 2925: Mandatory minimum penalty for Gun trafficking/Straw purchases. Imposes a 10-year minimum on those who sell or give a firearm to a convicted felon.

Juvenile Court Reforms:

  • SB 2929: Juvenile commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice for use or discharge of a firearm in a school that results in bodily injury or death to any person.


  • SB 2923 : Restore offenses of aggravated vehicular hijacking and armed robbery committed by juveniles with a firearm to the automatic transfer provisions of adult court.


  • SB 2922: Prevent “catch and release” of juvenile carjackers by requiring a shelter care hearing to determine if it is safe to release the juvenile or continue holding until the adjudicatory hearing.


Bail Reform:

  • SB 2920: Deny bail for previously convicted gun offenders or a felon charged with a gun offense.


  • SB 2921: Adds violation of bail bond, escape, and aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude to the more serious “Category A” bond provisions.


  • SB 2919: Allows counties to opt out of Bail Reform Act provisions if county board adopts a resolution to do so.


Mental Health Reform:

  • SB 1649: Amends the Community Mental Health Act. Provides that upon receipt of all the annual moneys collected from the tax levied under the Act, each governmental unit that levies that tax shall immediately deposit 20% of those moneys into a special fund directly controlled by the county sheriff to be used for mental health services within the county jail.
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Problem is that various prosecutors have decided what they deem to be a violation of the law, not what the 

law says. Look at the Chiraq shout out in broad daylight with a weapon converted to full auto, heck where are the Feds to prosecute that?
Which is to say there is no rule of law, when they “selectively” enforce laws when they decide to. 



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“This is not a solution,” Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) responded. “This is dog whistle politics from people who just like to round up poor people. They don’t know what they’re talking about.”


Yes, the police will be undercover as grocery store cashiers.  As soon as someone pulls out a link card, they will be rounded up with the other poor people on public assistance and charged with gun crimes.  Yet another Democrat buffoon.  How does a jackhat like that get elected to public office?  (Ok, we know why ...)


That being said, I disagree with mandatory minimum sentences.  What we need are professional prosecutors and judges who are qualified, diligent and fair-minded.  You know, like unicorns and the tooth fairy ... but that still doesn't make mandatory sentences fair.

Edited by 2A4Cook
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