Caulkins: Stemming the tide of violence

Deals to reduce charges and jail time are often used by prosecutors to obtain guilty pleas from defendants. There are many motivations behind plea deals and Illinois State Representative Dan Caulkins thinks victims, judges and the general public should know what they are, especially with armed robberies, carjackings and violence on the rise in Illinois.

Rep. Caulkins has introduced HB 4190, legislation that requires prosecutors to provide the court with rationale for plea agreements that reduce charges for defendants who used or possessed an Illegal firearm during a criminal act. It also requires judges to include the reasons for imposing the sentence or accepting the plea agreement. 

According to Caulkins, “As criminals continue to escalate violence in Illinois, Republican lawmakers have risen to the challenge by working to enact policy aimed at fighting crime throughout Illinois. Crime will continue to rise in our state unless the legislature gets tough on crime.”

Additionally, the legislation requires minors who are at least 16 years old and who are charged with armed robbery or carjacking to be charged as an adult. The legislation is aimed at curbing the use of juveniles by car theft rings to avoid stricter penalties imposed on adults.