House Bill 3744 allows the court to order individuals charged with intimate partner abuse including domestic battery, kidnapping, stalking, harassment and attempted murder to undergo a risk assessment evaluation as a condition of bail. The court may also require GPS monitoring of the defendant to help monitor and enforce restraining orders. The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.
Diane’s Law was written following the murder of Diane Kephart by a former boyfriend on March 15, 2013. Diane was murdered three days after renewing her protective order against an ex-boyfriend. "Hopefully this legislation will contribute towards keeping the victims of domestic violence safer in the future," stated Wheeler. "This measure will be an added tool in the hands of the justice system to protect those potentially in harm’s way."
Senator Althoff agreed with Wheeler’s sentiments and added, “In the case of Diane Kephart a protective order was not enough to prevent the tragedy that unfolded,” Althoff said. “This law goes beyond an order of protection and focuses on prevention by ensuring that a person charged with violent crimes is properly monitored by law enforcement.”
Members of the Kephart family (children Tom and Jamie shown above) joined Wheeler at the bill signing and said they were pleased to see the passage of the bill. “I think of mom every day and wonder how much different life could have been if this bill was around a year and a half ago,” Jamie Kephart said. “I pray that it helps protect victims affected by domestic violence the way it is intended to do. I am so grateful the community recognized the necessity for Diane's Law.”
At the signing, Governor Quinn said the legislation would provide an important new layer of protection for victims. “We need to help protect victims and prevent future tragedies from occurring,” Governor Quinn said. “The tragic loss of Diane Kephart’s purposeful life left us with further proof that something had to be done to strengthen protection orders. Diane’s Law will help our law enforcement authorities enforce restraining orders and increase penalties for those who commit domestic violence.”