Chris Essig

Walkthroughs, tips and tricks from a data journalist in eastern Iowa

“Family of slain area pregnant woman pushes criminal reform in Springfield”

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Interesting story…

SPRINGFIELD — The gruesome murder of a Hallsville pregnant woman and her unborn baby last year has pushed the family of the deceased to rally for criminal law reform.

The family of Jodi McGrew, who was killed last year by her brother-in-law in his parents’ LeRoy home, has been working with state Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, to push for changes in state law in the wake of the incident.

Brady introduced legislation requiring Illinois courts to sentence defendants to life imprisonment if they are found guilty of first-degree murder and their slaying is “exceptionally brutal or heinous.”

Brady wants the legislation to require judges to impose the penalty if they decide not to give the defendant the death penalty. The measure was approved by a House committee on a 5-1 vote Thursday.

Read the rest by clicking here.

I enjoy putting together feature stories whenever possible, especially on a citizen’s initiative like this. Ordinary citizens may have their hands in writing laws the rest of the state’s population has to follow…

Plus, it’s a story that I’m assuming not many other media outlets in Statehouse are going to pick up on…Being unique is always good.

The proposal is sure to be tweaked before it reaches the House floor, so we will see where the differences lie. And the family said they plan on making a trip to the Capitol to lobby their law, which will likely make some heads turn…

So my guess is this won’t be the last time we hear about this proposal. Whether it becomes law, however, is a completely different story.


Written by csessig

March 4, 2010 at 10:05 pm

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