Ill. Senator files legislation to reinstate death penalty for killing police officers

Illinois Open
Illinois Open(WFIE)
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 12:46 PM CST
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ILLINOIS (WFIE) - Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) announced he has filed Senate Bill 3899, which would reinstate the death penalty for those found guilty of killing police officers.

“We need to send a clear message out there to the law enforcement community that we will not allow heinous attacks against the very people who are serving to protect us,” said Senator Bailey. “We have to make it clear we have our officers’ backs, an attack against our officers in an assault against the safety and security of our communities.”

The bill would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for anyone 18 years of age or older who has been found guilty of first degree murder of a peace officer who was performing his or her official duties.

Since the state’s death penalty was abolished in 2011, first-degree murder of a police officer is currently punishable with a term of life imprisonment.

Officials with Senator Bailey’s office say right now, at least 27 states have similar provisions allowing the death penalty for those convicted of killing police officers.

If passed, Bailey’s legislation would go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Officials at the State’s Attorney’s Office for Wayne County couldn’t say if it would come into play in in the shooting death of Deputy Sean Riley.

They say it depends on the wording of the bill and if prior cases would be grandfathered in.

The man charged in that case, Ray Tate, was supposed to be arraigned in Wayne County Tuesday, but it’s been moved to February 3.

Court officials say 38 charges against him, including murder, will be read aloud.

Tate also faces charges in Missouri.

Officials with Senator Bailey’s office say tell us the general rule is that your punishment is determined by the sentencing rules at the time of the offense.

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