peters sb2129sSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) allowing state’s attorneys to petition for sentence reductions passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday.

“There are several factors that go in to determining a sentence for a crime, but in time, some or all of those factors could change,” Peters said. “Giving state’s attorneys the ability to ask a court to reduce sentences will ensure that people aren’t locked up for longer than they should be.”

An initiative of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Senate Bill 2129 allows state’s attorneys to petition courts to reduce sentences. The decision is still left to the court, which can consider several factors in making its determination, including:

  • The inmate’s disciplinary record and record of rehabilitation while incarcerated;
  • Evidence suggesting that age, time served, and deterioration of physical condition has resulted in a reduced risk of future violence; or
  • Evidence suggesting that circumstances since the original sentencing have changed in such a way that the continued incarceration no longer serves the interest of justice.

If a sentence is reduced, the individual is credited with timed served.

“People and circumstances can change as time goes on, so it’s time for the law to reflect the possibility of that change and allow for resentencing if a judge determines it’s appropriate,” Peters said.

The legislation heads to the House of Representatives after its passage in the Senate.