SPRINGFIELD — A constitutional amendment known as Marsy’s Law passed the Illinois Senate on Tuesday, May 26 with a unanimous vote of 59-0.
The Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights constitutional amendment was a ballot measure in November 2014 that received overwhelming support from Illinois voters. The implementation bill, HB 1121, passed the Illinois House at 112-2 on April 23.
HB 1121 reconciles the 1993 Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act with the Constitutional Crime Victims’ Rights Amendment adopted by voters in November 2014. It will provide victims of violent crime with important, enforceable protections to ensure their safety and promote justice.
The new procedures would include:
- Prosecutor will give the victim a written notice which will contain a checklist of their guaranteed rights. The victim will mark the rights they would like to assert and the prosecutor will file the notice with the court. This document can be revised by the victim at any time. The court guarantees victims are afforded these rights.
- Establishes necessary procedures for the assertion and enforcement of victims’ rights, while addressing how and when those rights are to be asserted
- HB 1121 establishes parameters for remedies if a victim’s right is violated; the court can only order actions necessary to provide the victim the right that was violated. The remedy cannot violate any of the defendant’s constitutional rights
- If the victim has asserted to the right to be present and to be heard, the prosecutor can ask the court to schedule a change of plea hearing so the victim could not be notified and attend. The victim is able to have the court reschedule a sentencing or hearing if the victim is not able to be present