050423CM0526SPRINGFIELD – In response to the Illinois Supreme Court decision in The People of the State of Illinois v. Kelan W., State Senator Robert Peters’ measure changing the definition of a delinquent minor passed the Senate Thursday.

“Illinois courts should not be able to prosecute minors for violations of another state’s laws,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “This measure prevents an overreach of power, which can blur the lines between the role Illinois has on other states’ criminal justice systems and vice versa.”

In The People of the State of Illinois v. Kelan W., sixteen year-old Kelan stole a vehicle in Missouri and used it to drive to Illinois, where Kelan resides. The Illinois court system petitioned to charge Kelan as a delinquent minor based on the carjacking taking place in Missouri and under Illinois laws against unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle. The Illinois supreme court allowed Kelan to be tried for violating both states’ laws.

Under current law, a delinquent minor is any minor who, prior to their 18th birthday, has violated or attempted to violate, regardless of where the act occurred, any federal, state, county or municipal law or ordinance. Illinois courts currently hold the ability to prosecute delinquency proceedings for a violation of another state’s laws.

House Bill 2223 redefines a delinquent minor as a minor who violates or attempts to violate a state, local or municipal law or ordinance. Peters’ measure also removes a provision that a minor may meet the definition of delinquent regardless of where the violation or attempted violation occurred.

“Subtle loopholes are rarely favorable toward vulnerable communities,” said Peters. “Implementing clear and equitable measures on how to conduct court proceedings fosters lasting public safety.”

House Bill 2223 passed the Senate Thursday.