Archive, May 2016.

Extended-term sentencing laws, in which the state imposes high mandatory minimum sentences for repeat offenders and those whose crimes involve aggravating factors, are meant to discourage recidivism and punish egregious crimes more seriously. However, sometimes these sentencing policies instead impose unjust sentences for relatively mild offenses.
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A bill has passed the Illinois House and Senate that would decriminalize the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana and moderate Illinois’s zero tolerance policy for marijuana and driving. Those found possessing small amounts of marijuana would instead be ticketed, and trace amounts of THC found in the bloodstream would no longer mean a DUI.
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Illinois police departments’ use of cell site simulators, known as Stingrays, is raising concerns about privacy and has inspired recent legislation in the Illinois legislature to regulate the use of such devices. Cell site simulators are used by the police to track mobile phone locations; however, they collect data from all phones in an area, not only from the particular phone the police are targeting. This has raised serious privacy concerns, and a bill is working its way through the Senate and House to restrict the use of Stingrays.
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The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission released a study last month addressing the expungement and sharing of juvenile criminal records in the state. In its report, the Commission found that in Illinois, juvenile record sharing and loose expungement laws have proven to be an obstacle to Illinois residents in obtaining an education, jobs and housing.
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In the wake of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s sentencing in a case arising out of decades-old sexual abuse offenses, Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) have called on the Illinois legislature to eliminate the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes committed against children.
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