SPRINGFIELD, ILL. (IRN) – Two new laws will help law enforcement crack down on drug crime and protect members of the justice system.
One of the laws creates an exemption in Illinois’ eavesdropping statute that allows state’s attorneys to give prior approval for the recording of individuals that law enforcement believe may commit a drug crime. Current law allows law enforcement to obtain a court order to record a drug crime but delays in the process had resulted in missed crimes.
In addition, judges and juries will be able to hear the actual conversations of those suspected of committing drug crimes rather than just rely on witness testimony. The new law puts Illinois law enforcement on par with the FBI and the DEA when it comes to drug crime enforcement.
The second law creates the Illinois Judicial Privacy Act, which prohibits individuals, businesses, associations or government agencies from posting a judicial officer’s personal information, if the officer asks in writing to have the information withheld. A person who knowingly posts information that could pose a threat to the health and safety of a judicial officer or immediate family, and if that posting leads to injury or death, would be guilty of a Class 3 felony.
The legislation was created in response to the murder of the mother and husband of federal Judge Joan Lefkow. Police believe the two were victims of retaliation flowing an unfavorable ruling.