The 91st General Assembly has taken a second major step toward ensuring criminal justice by requiring that physical evidence used to convict criminals be preserved for DNA and other testing in post-trial proceedings.
On June 15, 2000, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed first degree murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery convictions against Paris D. Sims, as well as a death sentence ordered by the circuit court of St. Clair County.
During one of the briefest legislative sessions in recent memory, the General Assembly ended a four-month controversy over whether illegally transporting firearms should be considered a felony or misdemeanor in Illinois.
As of January 1, 2000, Illinois drivers who own or operate vehicles containing hidden compartments may be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. Public Act 91-359 amends the Vehicle Code by making it illegal to own or operate a motor vehicle when a person knows the vehicle contains a false or secret compartment.
Until recently, torturing animals was only a misdemeanor in Illinois. However, individuals who intentionally torture animals will now face up to three years in prison and will be forced to undergo psychological and psychiatric evaluations for a first offense.