House Bill 802 aimed to curb wrongful convictions by ensuring greater accuracy in eyewitness identifications of criminal suspects and by requiring a video or audio recording of lineups. These reforms became law thanks to the leadership of Representative Scott Drury in the House, and Senator Kwame Raoul who advanced it through the Senate with the support of Senators Jacqueline Y. Collins and Patricia Van Pelt.
Signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn in August 2014, it took effect January 1, 2015. The law calls for the person who administers a lineup be an independent administrator who is not participating in the investigation of the criminal offense and does not know who the suspect is; the suspect and non-suspects should resemble one another and the suspect should not stand out in any noticeable way; and the lineup should be recorded on video or audio.
On being named among FDLA’s 20 for 20: “For twenty years, FDLA has played a critical role in our criminal justice system, ensuring that the rights of those in police custody are honored and respected. That an organization of FDLA’s stature has recognized my work in reforming eyewitness identification procedures is humbling. I hope that the combination of the eyewitness identification reforms and FDLA’s advocacy will result in a fairer criminal justice system.” -Rep. Scott Drury
“I am honored and humbled to be included among those who have served the cause of justice in Illinois by working to prevent wrongful convictions,“ Raoul said. “We now have a critical mass of support for meaningful criminal justice reform, and organizations like First Defense Legal Aid have shown us the way, spotlighting the inequities and calling on our state to do better.” -Sen. Kwame Raoul
“Wrongful convictions have exposed wide gaps in our justice system, and free legal aid helps bridge the gaps for those already disadvantaged by poverty, race or both. I am always pleased to support legislation that addresses inequities in all aspects of public safety and criminal justice, including eyewitness identification.” -Sen. Jacqueline Collins
Join FDLA May 15th, 2015, 5-8pm at Mayer Brown LLP for “Answering the Call: A Special Event Celebrating 20 Years of 1(800)LAW-REP4″ to celebrate with the 20 for 20 Honorees!
Click the link to RSVP: http://www.first-defense.org/donate