New Illinois Law Provides Different Criteria for Sentencing Those Under 18 Years of Age
The new year brought changes in mandatory considerations in the imposition of sentences of individuals who commit offenses when they are under the age of 18. The new law, 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-105 mandates judges to consider new additional factors in mitigation in determining the appropriate sentence. These factors take into account the differences between persons under 18 and adults.
Some of those factors include: the person’s age, impetuosity, and level of maturity at the time of the offense, including the ability to consider risks and consequences of behavior, and the presence of cognitive or developmental disability or both, if any; whether the person was subjected to outside pressure, including peer pressure, familial pressure, or negative influences; the person’s family, home environment, educational and social background, including any history of parental neglect, physical abuse, or other childhood trauma; the person’s potential for rehabilitation or evidence of rehabilitation, or both; the circumstances of the offense; the person’s degree of participation and specific role in the offense, including the level of planning by the defendant before the offense; whether the person was able to meaningfully participate in his or her defense; the person’s prior juvenile or criminal history, and any other information that the court finds relevant and reliable, including an expression of remorse.
The new law also gives the court discretion to decline to impose some applicable sentencing enhancements based upon certain enhancements.
This law is a profound change that recognizes and codifies the ability of the court to individualize sentences for more youthful offenders.
Lori G. Levin
Attorney at Law
180 N. LaSalle, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601312-767-2356