War on Drugs gets some help from lawmakers

Illinois State Governor Pat Quinn, signed House Bill 5877 into law today at the Illinois State Police crime lab. The bill was sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan was agreed upon today almost 14 years after it had been brought to the state.

The law creates an exemption in Illinois’ eavesdropping statute which allows State’s Attorneys to give prior approval for the recording of individuals whom law enforcement suspects will commit a drug crime. The evidence obtained in these recordings may be used only in the prosecution of drug crimes or forcible felonies committed during the investigation of a drug crime.

Current Illinois law allows law enforcement to obtain a court order to record a drug crime, but delays in that process in the past have resulted in missed crimes. This law is also a safeguard for undercover officers who may require immediate assistance when their lives are in danger.