Collection of stuff I’m reading on the bill.
Capitol News Illinois: Black Caucus passes criminal justice omnibus bill through Senate
State’s Attorney Association Letter
Follow up to the above letter from a private group I can not link to or attribute. Again, I am just trying to track what I’m reading.
The Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association’s statement is a more factually based position on the bill (but doesn’t comment on the qualified immunity or collective bargaining issues for LE), authored by Hamilton County State’s Attorney Justin Hood for ISAA. For example, this infographic states that the bill “completely eliminates felony murder.” That is not true. The bill proposes a narrowing of aider and abettor liability in felony murder by introducing a knowledge requirement. Pages 312-313. This infographic implies that felons can access victims compensation funds. True, in the sense that if a victim of a crime also happens to be a felon (the two are not always mutually exclusive), their status as a felon does not prevent them from having the right to apply for funds. (IE if female a victim of aggravated domestic battery happens to also have a prior felony drug conviction, she’s no longer disqualified.) Page 591. Also, the bill provides additional, graduated sentence credit for inmates who obtain an associates, bachelors, masters, or professional degree while incarcerated. (Didn’t write these pages numbers down). “No custodial arrests for certain offenses.” True, but misleading. Does mandate citations instead of arrests for class B and C misdemeanors (the lowest classes of misdemeanors. One example of a class C misdo is [the plain jane] disorderly conduct that unreasonably alarms or disturbs another and provokes a breach of the peace. Other iterations of disorderly conduct are higher misdos or felonies (like false bomb threat for a school), and this bill would not affect LE’s ability to arrest for those offenses. Page 363.“Prohibits the use of force in almost all situations” False. This bill bans the use of chokeholds or “restraints above the shoulders with risk of asphyxiation.” Page 308. And, removes use of *deadly* force for someone who is escaping custody *unless* necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or others. Page 310. “Charges officers with Official Misconduct, a class 3 felony for incidental issues.” False. It does create an official law enforcement misconduct offense, a class 3 felony, but it would apply not in ‘incidental’ situations but rather when an officer, in the performance of their official duties, “knowingly and intentionally”: misrepresents facts, withholds knowledge of a misrepresentation, doesn’t comply with body camera provisions, or “commits any other act with intent to avoid culpability or liability for himself or another.” Page 339.The bill also mandates body-worn camera for officers and doesn’t provide funding within this bill (but note, this is not an appropriation bill). For communities under 50,000, though, it gives them until January 1, 2025 to enact. There are myriad other provisions such as mandatory LE training every 2 years (p.87); crisis intervention/mental health training for LE (p.88); establishing a transparent system for making anonymous complaints that allows a person to check the status and know the disposition (if possible) within 30 days and striking requirement it be accompanied by sworn affidavit (p.106); creates an officer’s duty to render aid and/or intervene if another officer is using unauthorized force (p.311); requires body cams and plans for children/vulnerable populations during search warrant executions (p.361-362); mandates arrestees get to place calls within 1 hour of arriving to station (p.341-342); prevents many drug felonies from being used for enhanced recidivist sentencing provisions (p.522-523). Again, this is NOT a post about what you should support or the wisdom (or not) of this bill—perhaps some of these provisions are good, perhaps some are poorly written and/or have overbroad consequences for law enforcement and prosecutions. My point is merely that this infographic is misleading and, in some cases, patently false. As Abraham Lincoln and Dave Ramsey said, not everything on the internet is true. Do your own homework and commit to substantiating before sharing (and I urge you to fact check me and use this info as your own if you want to share, don’t quote me personally). Research to fully understand qualified immunity and collective bargaining before concluding whether those provisions are good or bad.Thanks for coming to my lengthy, legal beagle, indicative-of-my-wild-Friday-night, seeking-truth-and-justice TED talk.