SPRINGFIELD, IL – Legislation to increase the rights of relatives of crime victims to submit victim impact statements during the sentencing phase of trials has now advanced to the Governor’s desk, according to former prosecutor and State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) who introduced the legislation in response to tragic incidents in his area.
“It is important that crime victims and their families are afforded every opportunity to provide critical information to the court during the sentencing of the offender,” Rose said. “Close family members who watch a family member recover after being victimized often are traumatized as well – their voices deserve to also be heard.”
House Bill 827 requires Illinois State’s Attorneys to notify the crime victim or a specified family member of their right to make a victim impact statement. The legislation also provides close relatives of a victim the opportunity to include pertinent information with pre-sentencing reports that are prepared for the court.
“I appreciate the support of the Illinois Attorney General’s office on this common-sense victim impact legislation,” Rose said. “When it comes to crimes against the elderly, for example, a family member may be in a good position to speak up on the behalf of their loved one. Especially with issues of dementia, this will allow those folks, so often without a voice, to have it heard before the court.”
HB 827 passed a House concurrence vote on May 28 and awaits action by the Governor.