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Law enforcement and victims’ rights advocates are pressing for passage of a state referendum on Tuesday’s ballot, which will reform Illinois’ Crime Victims Bill of Rights.

Several supporters gathered in downtown DeKalb on Wednesday afternoon, urging voters to pass the measure on Election Day; if passed, it will strengthen the existing rights granted to victims – giving the state the ability to enforce those rights.

Among the speakers was Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, the state director for Marsy’s Law in Illinois; her sister and brother-in-law and their baby were murdered several years ago, and she had been prepared to deliver a victim impact statement at the killer’s sentencing…only to be told by prosecutors that they weren’t going to take the time to do so.

She says reinforcing the right to give these statements not only gives families closure, but ensures that the perpetrator’s acts are on the record for future proceedings.

Bishop-Jenkins was joined by several other speakers, including DeKalb Police Chief Gene Lowery and State’s Attorney Richard Schmack. 

All say that few oppose the rights outlined under this proposed amendment, which includes mandatory notification for victims about legal proceedings…and that most people, once they have the details explained to them, are all for supporting the amendment.

 

Peyton James

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