October 31, 2014

What Is Marsy’s Law?

Illinois map with letters spelling Mary's Law for IllinoisAmong the items Illinois voters will be asked to weigh in on at the polls Tuesday is approving the Crime Victims Bill of Rights.

This amendment to the state's Constitution will add two components to an existing list of rights of a victim of violent crime: That victim safety be considered as part of release decisions and that victims' privacy be reinforced when it comes to personal records--like diaries.

Illinois Public Media's Hannah Meisel spoke with Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, director of Marsy's Law for Illinois. In 1990, Bishop-Jenkins' sister and brother-in-law were murdered, along with her sister's unborn child. She says Marsy's Law will add protections for victims that exist in many other states.

The amendment passed the Illinois House and Senate with very little opposition in the Spring. Bishop-Jenkins says those who oppose the law mistakenly think that adding rights for victims of a crime would take away rights of the accused.

"They have expressed concern that there is a zero-sum game, if you will, between victims' rights and the rights of the accused," she said. "That's just wrong."


Marchers protest in Ferguson, Missouri.
AP Photo
October 03, 2014

Beyond Ferguson, Part 2: A WILL-AM 580 Special

Last month, host Janice Marie Collins, a University of Illinois journalism professor, began a conversation about some of the questions raised by the shooting of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Missouri.  That conversation continued Friday, Oct. 3, with a live special focusing on what comes next and the search for solutions.


Governor Pat Quinn signs measure protecting pregnant women from losing their jobs.
(ACLU of Illinois)
August 27, 2014

Pregnant Workers To Be Protected Under New State Law

Despite current employment protections, pregnant women in the workplace are still sometimes forced out of jobs in Illinois. The governor Tuesday signed legislation aimed at ending that practice.


Lesley McSpadden is comforted during funeral for her son, Michael Brown.
(Pool/Getty Images)
August 25, 2014

At Michael Brown’s Funeral, A Call For A Day Of Reckoning

After two weeks of sometimes violent protests, the family of Michael Brown finally took some time to mourn on Monday. The funeral service for the unarmed 18-year-old killed by officer Darren Wilson was held in a St. Louis megachurch.


Demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri.
(Adrees Latif/Reuters/Landov)
August 23, 2014

Another Peaceful Night In Ferguson

Relative calm and restraint prevailed for a third consecutive night on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., as confrontations subside between authorities and those protesting the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old.


Protests on Monday, Aug. 18 in Ferguson, Mo
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
August 19, 2014

Prayers For Peace In Ferguson

The archbishop of St. Louis says a Mass for Peace and Justice Wednesday will offer prayers for Ferguson.  At least two people were shot and 31 were arrested in clashes Monday night.


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