States Attorney.

Cook County State’s Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bill Gets Approved by Illinois House of Representatives Committee

Cook County State's Attorney ’s Hate Crimes Bill Gets Approved by Illinois House of Representatives Committee

Cook County State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine announced the approval of the Hate Crimes Bill drafted by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. On March 12, 2001, the Illinois House of Representatives – Judicial Division and Criminal Law Committee approved of the bill, which aimed to amend the Illinois Hate Crimes Act in order to penalize those individuals who encourage and influence their followers to commit hate crimes.

The Hate Crimes Bill, H.B. 136, drafted by the Office is kindly sponsored in the House by Rep. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), among several others, who are set to vote on in the House within the week. The drafted bill was drawn from a 60-year-old federal law and was made to clarify the existing statutes, such that investigators and prosecutors would be able to seek more rigid and set penalties for repeat offenders, as well as to constitute the bill to include penalties for individuals promoting hate crime.

Cook County State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine expressed the need of the County for such bill. “The tragic hate crimes of July 1999 illuminated shortcomings in the Illinois hate crime law. We believe this bill will close the loopholes that let white supremacists, gang members or any group which advocates violence, operate in such a way as to put the community at risk,” said State’s Attorney Devine.

Hate crimes traumatize victims, as well as tear communities apart. As such, law enforcement officials and prosecutors target crimes classified as a hate crime. In line with this, House Bill 136, also known as the Hate Crimes Bill, constitutes the following as a crime:

The bill further clarifies and amend the existing statutes to update penalties made under the hate crimes bill, transforming it into more stern and precise retribution and sanction.

House Bill 136 – Hate Crimes Bill is sponsored in the Senate by State Sen. Ira Silverstein. Currently, it awaits voting on the House floor.

Updated: October 9, 2020

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