Illinois' Lobby Day, March 8th, 2012
Sen. Heather Steans (D-7th) spoke Thursday to supporters of “Marsy’s Law for Illinois” (HJRCA 29), a constitutional amendment that would make crime victims’ rights enforceable.
The Illinois state constitution currently guarantees crime victims and their families rights such as protection from the accused and timely notification of court proceedings, but victims who believe their rights have been violated cannot petition a court to have them enforced. “We have a strong bill of rights for victims, but they’re not enforceable,” said Sen. Steans, who is the resolution’s chief sponsor. “We just want victims to have the same due process rights that defendants do. This is way overdue. ”Marsy’s Law, named for a California murder victim whose brother began a nationwide push for stronger guarantees of crime victims’ rights, passed the House by a vote of 116-2.