Illinois 2007 Senate Bill 15
As of 2018, there is a new law in Illinois, PA 100-0574, formerly known as HB 1764, that recognizes postpartum illnesses as a factor in criminal cases. The law is groundbreaking because it is the first criminal law in the nation to reference in any way postpartum illnesses. It makes postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis a mitigating factor in sentencing. It also, for the very first time in Illinois provides for a new sentencing hearing after a valid sentence has been imposed.
There are approximately twenty Illinois women who were convicted and sentenced to life or decades in prison before the effects of this disease were well-known in the legal community. Now that Illinois has passed this new law, these women serving long or life-time sentences will be entitled to a new hearing that allows for re-evaluation and the possibility of a reduced sentence.
This new Illinois law, PA 100-0574 will not only correct a known wrong, but in addition it will be a model for other states in the U.S. to follow.
(Excerpt from article, “The New Law in Illinois PA 100-0574: Ground-breaking Legislation” by Susan Benjamin Feingold, Psy.D. and Barry M. Lewis, J.D.)
Note: Perinatal professionals who are interested and willing to assist in one or two cases can contact Bill Ryan (firstname.lastname@example.org or 708.574-8046). He can put you in touch with a woman seeking a new sentence. Any mental health professionals who have expertise with perinatal mental health issues are welcome. It is preferable, but not mandatory to have experience at testifying as an expert.