State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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                            STATE OF ILLINOIS
                         OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
                           SPRINGFIELD, 62706

                             August 10, 2001

      To the Honorable Members of the
          Illinois House of Representatives
          92nd General Assembly
          Pursuant to Article IV, Section 9  (b)  of  the  Illinois
      Constitution  of  1970, I hereby veto House Bull 222 entitled
      "AN ACT concerning criminal law.
          House Bill 222  amends  the  Statewide  Grand  Jury  Act.
      Provides  that  a  statewide  grand  jury  may be convened to
      investigate and return indictments for any sex offense listed
      in the  Criminal  Code  of  1961  (rather  than  certain  sex
      offenses  involving  children),  which are facilitated by the
      use of a computer.
          The issue of  allowing  a  statewide  grand  jury,  as  a
      substitute  for  a  county  grand  jury  or  the  filing of a
      criminal  charge  by  a  State's  Attorney  has  always  been
      contentious, because of the fact that it  intrudes  into  the
      charging of criminal offenses previously reserved exclusively
      for  a  county  State's  Attorney.  For many years, statewide
      grand jury legislation stalled in the  General  Assembly  for
      this  very  reason. When it ws finally enacted, the statewide
      grand jury was deliberately limited to  criminal  street-gang
      and  gun  crimes,  which  involve more than one county of the
      State. The expansive nature of the criminal conspiracy behind
      the trafficking in guns and drugs was the main  reason  cited
      for  authorizing  the use of a statewide grand jury. It is up
      to the Attorney General to petition for the impaneling  of  a
      statewide grand jury.
          Later,  the  statewide  grand  jury  law  was expanded to
      include indecent solicitation of a child, sexual exploitation
      of a child, soliciting for a juvenile prostitute,  keeping  a
      place  of  juvenile  prostitution, juvenile pimping and child
      pornography, which are facilitated by the use of a  computer.
      The   justification   for   adding  these  offenses  was  the
      involvement or potential involvement of a vulnerble class  of
      victim that being children.
          House  Bill  222  is  not  an  initiative of the Attorney
      General. It seeks to add thirty (30) additional sex  offenses
      to  the  statewide  grand jury law, regardless of the type of
      victim. These include many misdemeanor level offenses.  There
      are  not  any additional funds being provided to the Attorney
      General for the additional personnel to pursue indictment and
      prosecution of these offenses. I do not find  that  there  is
      sufficient   justification   for   these   additions  to  the
      jurisdiction of a statewide grand jury. I believe  the  State
      of Illinois is better served by keeping the limited statewide
      grand   jury   resources   focused   on   drug  conspiracies,
      street-gang  conspiracies,  trafficking  in  computer   child
      pornography  and computer solicitation of children for sexual
          Moreover,  there  is  not  any  indication  that  State's
      Attorneys supported this legislation or  perceived  the  need
      for  the  impaneling  of  statewide grand juries to otherwise
      assist  in  their  investigation  and  prosecution  of  these
      additional  offenses.  Without  House  Bill  222,  a  State's
      Attorney is fully  capable  of  convening  a  grand  jury  to
      investigate  and consider whether or not criminal indictments
      should be returned for these other sex  offenses.  A  State's
      Attorney  can  also  file  a criminal charge, without a grand
      jury, for any of these offenses.
          For these reasons, I hereby veto and  return  House  Bill
                                             s/GEORGE H. RYAN

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