The Illinois Senate is considering a measure that would expand the rights of crime victims.
Backers say the existing protections in the Illinois Constitution are regularly ignored. Ann Spillane is with the Illinois attorney general's office. She says the office routinely gets complaints from people struggling to enforce their rights: "Victims told us that they were never provided notice of court proceedings in some instances. That they were never informed that a plea agreement was about to be entered in some instances. And that in some cases, they never had the opportunity to present a victim-impact statement."
Spillane says the proposal would give victims legal standing in court to assert their rights. That includes being able to confer with the prosecutor about plea deals, and having the opportunity to make a statement at the time of sentencing. Because the measure would change the state Constitution, voters would have the final say on whether to approve it at this fall's elections.