Conor's Law aims to prevent future tragedies involving minors
Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) expects Conor's Law to change the way law enforcement handles minors and possibly save lives.
The measure, Senate Bill 2185, is waiting for Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature.
Conor’s Law is named for Conor Vesper, who died in May 2015 after being arrested by the Illinois State Police near Carlinville. Vesper, 20 at the time, was jailed briefly while facing DUI charges, but after posting bond, led police on a high-speed chase, ultimately abandoning his vehicle at his parents’ home in Staunton and dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a St. Louis hospital.
Born of efforts by Vesper’s friends and family, the new law will require the state to develop a uniform policy regarding minors, including specific terms for arresting officers to contact responsible adults when offenders are under 21.
SB2185 was crafted to streamline law enforcement personnel training regarding responses to a detainee under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and specifically, how to approach minors in such a situation.
“Conor’s Law will mean that the way law enforcement releases minors will be uniform throughout the state,” Bourne, who sponsored the bill, said. “This change in current law will hopefully ensure that this situation never occurs again. I thank those who brought the idea forward. Their hard work and dedication to bring change from tragedy will ensure that Conor’s life will continue to impact people’s lives in a positive way in the future.”