Eyewitness Identification Reform

Illinois law requires witness instructions, proper filler selection, and blind or blinded administration. The law, however, does not require law enforcement to collect confidence statements from eyewitnesses. The law also provides a remedy from failure to comply with identification procedures. Effective 2015.

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Recording of Interrogations

Under Illinois law, all custodial interrogations in a homicide and sexual assault cases must be recorded, and any statement made by the accused during an interrogation is presumed inadmissible unless the entire interrogation is electronically recorded. The presumption of inadmissibility may be overcome by a preponderance of the evidence that the statement was voluntarily given and reliable, given the totality of the evidence. Effective: 2005; Amended most recently: 2013.

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Deception in Juvenile Interrogations

State statute bans the use of deception by law enforcement officers to elicit confessions from minors during a custodial interrogation. Deception is defined as the knowing communication of false facts about evidence or unauthorized statements regarding leniency to the person being interrogated. A confession made by a person who was under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of an offense, is presumed to be inadmissible when the confession is procured through the knowing use of deception, unless the state can show by a preponderance of the evidence that the confession was voluntarily given. Effective: January 2022.

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Post Conviction DNA Testing

Any defendant may apply for post-conviction DNA testing at any time. Effective 2003; Amended most recently 2014.

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Evidence Preservation

State statute requires the automatic preservation of any physical evidence in cases related to a homicide, sexual offense, attempts, or any felony for which a genetic profile may be added to the database. The evidence must be maintained until the completion of the sentence, including the period of mandatory supervised release, for convictions of attempted homicide, criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, criminal sexual abuse, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse. When a genetic profile has been obtained by a law enforcement agency following any non-felony convictions and submitted for comparison in a forensic DNA database, the state statute requires that the evidence in those cases be preserved for 7 years following any conviction. Effective: 2001; Amended most recently: 2013.

Illinois' statute meets the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.

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Exoneree Compensation

Exonerees who have been granted a pardon by the Governor or a certificate of innocence by the Circuit Court are eligible for the following compensation: $85,350 for those who served up to five years $170,000 for those who served between five and 14 years $199,150 for those who served more than 14 years. The law also reimburses attorney's fees up to 25 percent of the compensation award, provides job search and placement services, and re-entry services. Effective: 2011.

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In-Custody Informants

State statute requires judges to hold pre-trial reliability hearings before jailhouse informant testimony is admissible in murder, sexual assault, and arson cases. Additionally, at least 30 days before a relevant evidentiary hearing or trial, prosecutors must disclose key evidence regarding jailhouse informant witnesses to the defense, including: benefits provided in exchange for testimony, their complete criminal history, and any previous jailhouse informant activities. Effective: 2019.

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