Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has filed legislation, the Protect Our Victims (POV) Act, to undo provisions of the Democrats’ SAFE-T Act that will further traumatize victims of crime in violation of the Illinois Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights. The legislation, House Bill 5867, would prevent victims from being compelled to appear at a detention hearing often held within days of the trauma and the arrest of the accused.
“Now that the Illinois Supreme Court is taking up the unconstitutional end of cash bail in the Democrats’ flawed SAFE-T Act, it is the time to address the unconstitutional provisions of the SAFE-T Act that will harm victims of crime,” said Leader Durkin. “The Illinois Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights in our state constitution makes it unequivocally clear that victims have a right to be free from harassment, intimidation, and abuse during the court process. Forcing any victim to appear at a pre-trial detention hearing with their abuser mere feet away is an obvious violation of these safeguards for victims and only serves to traumatize them further.”
As Durkin noted, the Illinois Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights (otherwise known as Marsy’s Law) exists to prevent crime victims from suffering further offenses and was added to the state constitution by voters in 2014.
Incoming House Republican Leader-Elect Tony McCombie is co-sponsoring HB 5867 with Durkin.
“I appreciate Leader Durkin bringing this thoughtful legislation forward to protect victims,” said Leader-Elect McCombie. “We must do everything in our power to protect our most vulnerable and the SAFE-T Act puts criminals first, this must be repealed immediately.”