Illinois is one of thirty-two states that have amended their constitutions to include rights for crime victims.
A strong coalition succeeded in getting a victims' rights amendment introduced and passed during the 1992 legislative session. Illinois voters overwhelmingly supported constitutional rights for crime victims with 77% of the vote in the 1992 November General Election.
The amendment reads as follows:
Article 1, Section 8.1
CRIME VICTIM'S RIGHTS
- Crime victims, as defined by law, shall have the following rights as provided by law:
- The right to be treated with fairness and respect for their dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process.
- The right to notification of court proceedings.
- The right to communicate with the prosecution.
- The right to make a statement to the court at sentencing.
- The right to information about the conviction, sentence, imprisonment, and release of the accused.
- The right to timely disposition of the case following the arrest of the accused;
- The right to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
- The right to be present at the trial and all other court proceedings on the same basis as the accused, unless the victim is to testify and the court determines that the victim's testimony would be materially affected if the victim hears other testimony at the trial.
- The right to have present at all court proceedings, subject to the rules of evidence, an advocate or other support person of the victim's choice.
- The right to restitution.
- The General Assembly may provided by law for the enforcement of this Section.
- The General Assembly may provide for an assessment against convicted defendants to pay for crime victims' rights.
- Nothing in this Section or in any law enacted under this Section shall be construed as creating a basis for vacating a conviction or a ground for appellate relief in any criminal case.