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Bill Status

Passed Senate Committee

Introduced In House


House Sponsor: Representative Lilian Jiménez

Senate Sponsor: Senator Adriane Johnson

Support HB 3375

Give people sentenced as children a chance to submit a new petition.

Bill overview

In 2012, the US Supreme Court created a new constitutional rule requiring states to consider youth and relevant characteristics (peer and familial pressure, family history, history of abuse, potential for rehabilitation, level of participation in the crime, etc.) when sentencing young people (Miller v. Alabama).

In 2014, the Illinois General Assembly adopted these factors into state law with the bipartisan Public Act 99-0069. Illinois courts now must consider those factors when sentencing people 18 and younger in adult court. The Illinois Supreme Court later extended the Miller factors to 18-20-year-olds (People v. Harris).

The problem is Illinois’ law makes it extremely difficult for a person to file more than one post-conviction petition, and the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Miller isn’t a sufficient reason for a person to be able to file a second petition.

HB 3375 would create a narrow exception to the Post-Conviction Hearing Act. The bill would eliminate the “cause” requirement for people sentenced before they turned 21 who want to file new petitions citing their youth.

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HB 3375 would amend the Post-Conviction Hearing Act to allow a limited number of people to file new petitions in Circuit Court. There is precedent for such a legislative override of a procedural hurdle in the Act. Illinois enacted the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC) Act (775 ILCS 40) to allow survivors of Jon Burge and police torture to argue their constitutional rights were violated. The TIRC Act overrode the time limitations of the Post-Conviction Hearing Act to allow Burge survivors who missed that time limitations to file petitions.

Similar to the legislation created through the TIRC Act, HB 3375 would allow people convicted in their youth to file a successive post-conviction petition in circuit court. The goal is to establish a narrow exception to the Post-Conviction Hearing Act’s “cause” requirement.