Illinois Introduces Two New Laws Including the ‘Gay Panic Defense’
Now that the state of Illinois has a budget in place after three years, and they finally got the school funding bill figured out, lawmakers in Springfield have been able to tackle some other issues that needed to be addressed.
According to WIFR, Governor Bruce Rauner has signed two new bills into law; the first is a law banning the "Gay Panic" defense in murder cases. Illinois is only the second state in the country to enforce such a law that prohibits attorneys from submitting a defense that their client felt threatened by someone of a different sexual orientation.
In the past, the defense has resulted in defendants being convicted of lesser charges like manslaughter, instead of first degree or capital murder.
The other bill allows local authorities to prosecute out-of-state dealers for deaths caused by the sale of their drugs. For example, if someone buys drugs from someone in Milwaukee and they die from a drug overdose, the person who sold them those drugs can be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. WIFR says this law was named after Evan Rushing, a man who died from an overdose after buying drugs from someone in St. Louis.