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May 4, 2000

Members told to update code, make it "just, fair and equitable"

CHICAGO-- Governor George H. Ryan has appointed a commission to update Illinois' 40-year-old criminal code with an eye toward making the criminal law in Illinois more fair for victims and defendants and easier to read and understand.

"For our legal system to work, it must represent the needs of society, it must support law enforcement, it must protect victims and it must be fair," Gov. Ryan said.

In discussing the importance of updating the code, which was first drafted in 1961, Gov. Ryan noted that most people have either been a victim or know someone who has been a victim of crime.

"For society to flourish, we need to have the freedom to move about, to travel without fear, to enjoy our leisure, to have safe neighborhoods," Gov. Ryan said. "We depend on our criminal justice system to protect us and to guarantee us our right to peace and freedom.

I truly respect the job done by our police officers and prosecutors. They do a tough job, they protect our families. At the same time, our criminal system sent 13 innocent people to Death Row. A system that allows that to happen gives us all reason to consider the implications of our entire criminal code and procedure."

The Commission will be chaired by Matthew Bettenhausen, Deputy Governor,

Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Joel Bertocchi, Illinois Solicitor General, Illinois Appellate Court Justice Robert Steigman, Rita Fry, Cook County Public Defender, and Peter Bensinger, Chairman of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority will serve as vice chairs. Mark Warnsing, counsel to the Governor, will serve as executive director.

Noted criminal law professor Wayne R. LaFave of the University of Illinois College of Law will serve as special counsel with U of I College of Law colleague Professor Andrew Liepold.

Northwestern University Law School Professor Paul Robinson, an international expert on criminal code rewrite efforts and former counsel to the United States Sentencing Commission, will serve as the Commission's reporter.

Illinois State University Professor Paula J. Pomerenke, a national leader in the Plain English Movement, will serve on the Commission. She will help lead the effort to draft the updated code in understandable English.

Other members will include:

Steve Baker, DuPage County Public Defender. President of the Public Defender Association.

Peter Bensinger, Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Former Director, Illinois Department of Corrections and Former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Joel Bertocchi, Solicitor General, State of Illinois.

Matthew Bettenhausen, Deputy Governor for Criminal Justice and Public Safety.

Joe Birkett, DuPage County States Attorney.

Dick Devine, Cook County State's Attorney.

Justice (Ret.) Dan Doyle, Former judge on both circuit and state appellate courts in Winnebago County.

Justice Margaret "Peg" O’Mara Frossard, Appellate Court 1st District. Former trial judge, Circuit Court of Cook County.

Don Hays, Illinois Appellate Prosecutors Office. Mr. Hays prepares many of the manuals used by the prosecutors in the field, including the Uniform Criminal Complaint Book.

Justice Thomas Homer, Appellate Court 3rd Circuit. Former State Representative (91st District), and former chair of the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee. Previously worked on a proposed Sentencing Guideline System for Illinois.

Dallas Ingemunson, Former Kane County State's Attorney and Chairman of the Juvenile Justice Commission.

Walter Jones, trial attorney and name partner of the Chicago law firm of Pugh Jones and Johnson. Long-time editor of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Magazine.

Judge Ann Brackley Jorgenson, Presiding Judge Felony Division, DuPage County. Former President Illinois State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section.

Russell Laine, President, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and Chief of Algonquin Police Department. Mr. Laine is also a licensed attorney.

Judge Bertina Lampkin, Circuit Court of Cook County and one of the supervising judges in the criminal division. Judge Lampkin is a member of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Capital Punishment.

Elissa Rhee-Lee, Former Cook County Assistant States Attorney, now a defense attorney with the Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal law firm.

Andre Parker, Lt. Colonel with the Illinois State Police. Col. Parker is a nationally known speaker in the area of community policing and strategic planning.

John C. Piland, State’s Attorney of Champaign County. Previously served on the Truth in Sentencing Commission.

Judge (Ret.) William P. Prendergast, Circuit Court of Cook County. Past-President, Chicago Bar Association (1994-95), former Director, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services and member of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar.

Justice (Ret.) William Quinlan. Former judge, Circuit Court of Cook County, and justice of the Illinois Court of Appeals. Founding partner of the Chicago law firm of Quinlan and Crisham, former Corporation Counsel, City of Chicago and presently the Chairman of the Cook County Judicial Advisory Council and the Cook County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.

Norma Ida Reyes, Deputy Corporation Counsel, City of Chicago and Chief of Municipal Prosecutions.

Judge John B. "Jack" Roe, Circuit Court 15th Judicial Circuit , Ogle County, former State Senator and served on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Former Ogle County Public Defender and State’s Attorney.

Mark Rotert, trial attorney and partner with Winston & Strawn. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Criminal Appeals Division. Previously served on the committees to rewrite the criminal jury instructions in both state and federal courts.

Chuck Schiedel, Deputy Defender, State Appellate Defenders Office. Serves on the House Death Penalty Task Force.

Robert Spence, Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice.

Justice Robert Steigmann, State Appellate Court Judge from Champaign. Co-Author Illinois Evidentiary Foundations and Illinois Evidence Manual. Served as the Chairman of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions.

Judge Eddie Stephens, Former Assistant State's Attorney and Assistant United State's Attorney and presently appointed to the Supreme Court's Committee on Criminal Law and Probation Administration.

Professor Randolph Stone, Director of the prestigious Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, University of Chicago Law School and former Cook County Public Defender.

Patrick Tuite, former Cook County Assistant States Attorney and now heads white-collar criminal defense practice at Arnstein and Lehr.

Stuart Umholtz, State's Attorney of Tazwell County.

Gregory P. Vazquez, former Assistant State’s Attorney current defense attorney. President of the Puerto Rican Bar Association.


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