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May 18, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan's "15-20-Life" proposal to create tougher sentences for criminals who use guns during felony crimes was approved today by the Illinois Senate and sent to the governor for action.

"The way to deal with violent criminals is to apply swift and certain consequences," Ryan said. "I applaud the Senate and House for giving us the tools that are needed to keep criminals behind bars. I am going to sign this bill into law."

Senate Bill 1112 amends the criminal code of 1961, cannabis control act, controlled substance act, and the Unified Code of Corrections and seeks additional penalties after a conviction of certain felonies.

Senate Bill 1112 allows the courts to impose additional prison time to persons convicted of a felony including the following: first degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping, heinous battery, home invasion, armed robbery, aggravated vehicular hijacking, and various drug offenses. The felon will receive:

An additional 15 years in prison if the felon is in possession of a gun while committing a felony crime.

An additional 20 years if the felon is armed and intentionally discharges the weapon.

An additional 25 years to life if the felon is armed, intentionally discharges the weapon and causes great bodily harm or the death of any person.

The legislation was sponsored by Senators Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale; Carl E. Hawkinson, R-Galesburg; Christine Radogno, R-La Grange; Wendell E. Jones, R-Palatine; David Sullivan, R-Park Ridge; Laura Kent Donahue, R-Quincy; Ed Petka, R-Plainfield; James "Pate" Philip, R-Wood Dale and Kathleen K. Parker, R-Northbrook. In the House, the legislation is sponsored by John Turner, R-Atlanta; Rick Winkel, R-Champaign; Bill O'Connor, R-Riverside; Renee Kosel, R-New Lenox; and Bill Mitchell, R-Decatur.


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