State of Illinois
91st General Assembly

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 1                       HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, The Firearm Owners' Protection Act  was  enacted
 3    in  1986  by  the federal government to protect the rights of
 4    law abiding owners and to cut down on gun crime by increasing
 5    the punishment  scales  for  federal  crimes  committed  with
 6    firearms; and

 7        WHEREAS,  The  U.S. Department of Justice built upon this
 8    federal law in 1997 with its creation  of  Project  Exile,  a
 9    test  program  to  prosecute  armed  criminals in an American
10    city,   Richmond,   Virginia,   as   federal   felons,   with
11    implementation beginning in 1998; and

12        WHEREAS, In 1998, gun murders in Richmond  were  down  55
13    percent and burglaries declined over 33 percent compared with
14    the rates for those offenses in Richmond in 1997; and

15        WHEREAS,  Project  Exile  has continued to reduce violent
16    crime  rates  in  Richmond,  based  upon  the  philosophy  of
17    transferring persons accused of  armed,  violent  crime  from
18    state  court  to  federal  court,  where  these  persons  are
19    subject,  if they are convicted, to longer sentences that are
20    served in out-of-state prisons among strangers; and

21        WHEREAS, Based upon these factors, it  is  reasonable  to
22    believe  that  Project  Exile  may  be an effective method of
23    deterring violent crime in Illinois; and

24        WHEREAS,  Following  the  success  of  Project  Exile  in
25    Richmond, similar programs have been or are being started  in
26    Birmingham,   Alabama;   Oakland,  California;  Baton  Rouge,
27    Louisiana; Camden,  New  Jersey;  Rochester,  New  York;  and
28    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and

29        WHEREAS,  Project Exile is seen by public leaders and law
30    enforcement professionals as being a program that is  capable
31    of  being  implemented in many different cities of the United
                            -2-                LRB9114385KBkb
 1    States, located in  different  regions,  with  different  and
 2    diverse populations; therefore, be it

 5    SENATE  CONCURRING  HEREIN,  that  we  hereby commend the law
 6    enforcement professionals of Richmond, Virginia, and the U.S.
 7    Department  of  Justice,  in  their  work   to   successfully
 8    implement Project Exile in Richmond; and be it further

 9        RESOLVED,  That there is created the Special Committee on
10    Project Exile in Illinois, to consist of nine members, all of
11    whom shall be professional peace officers, State's Attorneys,
12    Assistant State's Attorneys, or professional scholars in  the
13    fields  of  penology  and  criminology;  two members shall be
14    appointed by each of the four legislative  leaders,  and  the
15    ninth  member,  who  shall  serve  as  Chairperson,  shall be
16    appointed by the Attorney General of the State  of  Illinois;
17    and be it further

18        RESOLVED,  That  the  Special  Committee on Project Exile
19    shall meet pursuant to the call of its appointed Chairperson,
20    shall elect a Vice Chairperson and Secretary from within  its
21    ranks,  and  shall  proceed  to  the  task  of  studying  the
22    desirability of implementing a Project Exile policy in all or
23    part of the State of Illinois; and be it further

24        RESOLVED,  That  the  Attorney  General shall provide the
25    Special Committee on Project Exile  with  all  of  the  staff
26    support  required  to  complete  its  assignment;  and  be it
27    further

28        RESOLVED, That the members of the  Special  Committee  on
29    Project Exile shall serve without compensation from the State
30    of Illinois, but shall be reimbursed for their reasonable and
31    necessary   expenses  through  the  Office  of  the  Attorney
32    General; and be it further
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 1        RESOLVED, That the Special  Committee  on  Project  Exile
 2    shall  report  to the General Assembly, the Governor, and the
 3    Attorney  General  on  the  desirability  of  implementing  a
 4    Project Exile policy in all or part of the State of Illinois,
 5    with the report to be submitted no later than April 1,  2001;
 6    and be it further

 7        RESOLVED,  That upon the filing of its report the Special
 8    Committee on Project Exile shall  be  dissolved;  and  be  it
 9    further

10        RESOLVED,  That  a  suitable  copy  of this resolution be
11    presented to the Attorney General of the State of Illinois.

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