SPRINGFIELD -- A new group is pushing legislation that would give murder victims’ families a voice on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. 

SPRINGFIELD -- A new group is pushing legislation that would give murder victims’ families a voice on the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

Support for Homicide Survivors has worked with House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, on House Bill 199, which would require that one member of the review board be a crime victim or victim advocate.

“When that decision is being made, whether they (prisoners) should receive clemency or have their years cut (off a sentence), the victim issue should be brought in,” said the group’s executive director, Dora Larson.

“For too long, victims have sat outside the system, because after murder, that loved one is a piece of evidence.”

The Prisoner Review Board oversees aspects of Illinois' parole system, reviews executive clemency requests and notifies victims when an inmate is about to be released.

Sens. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, and Mike Jacobs, D-Moline, pledged to take up the measure in the Senate if it passes of the House.

Larson, co-founder of Support for Homicide Survivors with Terry Mayborne, is herself a “survivor” of homicide – a word she hopes will replace the phrase “victim’s family.” Her 10-year-old daughter Vicki was raped and killed by a 15-year-old boy in 1979.

The group has taken no stance on the death penalty repeal bill currently on the governor’s desk.

 

Andy Brownfield can be reached at (217) 782-3095.