Illinois toughens consequences for concealing
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Governor signs Stacey's Law
[JULY 21, 2004]
-- On Tuesday Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed
House Bill 4032, also known as "Stacey's Law." The new law
requires defendants to serve consecutive sentences, rather than
concurrent, when one of the offenses is concealment of a homicidal
death or dismembering a human body. The law is named after Stacey
Bravo, a 29-year-old woman from Calumet Park who was murdered by her
then-boyfriend, who concealed her body for more than two years.
"While a change in the law can't
bring Stacey back, hopefully, it can provide the Bravo family with
some peace," said Gov. Blagojevich. "By signing Stacey's law, we
are trying to prevent other families from suffering the same pain
the Bravo family experienced when they learned one of the men
involved in concealing Stacey's death would be released from
prison after less than a year behind bars."
Stacey Bravo was shot and killed in
1999 by Tim Gallano. After her murder, Gallano and Jack Morretti
hid her body in a barrel filled with cement at a Mokena farm.
Eventually, 2½ years after her murder, Moretti led police to
Bravo's body. Gallano was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Morretti was sentenced to five years for concealing her body and
five years for drug possession. Because the sentences were served
concurrently, Morretti was released after serving less than one
Rep. Robert Rita, D-Crestwood, and
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Chicago, sponsored the legislation.
"For those who have had to deal with
the horrible realities of these crimes, I'm proud to have helped
enact this law," Rep. Rita said. "It's essential that the state
gives prosecutors the tools they need to put these people away for
a long time so they don't get out in half the time on some
sentencing technicality. The nature of these crimes is enough to
warrant this legislation. Ultimately, though, it's the victims and
the victims' families who deserve our help."
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House Bill 4032 adds concealment of a
body to a list of crimes that, in most cases, require defendants
to serve consecutive sentences. Other crimes with similar
provisions include first-degree murder, Class X-Class 1 felonies
when a defendant inflicted severe bodily injuries, and armed
violence predicated on solicitation of murder for hire, heinous
battery or criminal sexual assault.
"Hopefully, this legislation will bring
some measure of closure to the family of a victim who suffered such
a heinous act," said Sen. Obama. "Our criminal justice system must
be equipped to deal with these instances and deliver the maximum
penalty allowed. It is the least we can do in Stacey's memory."
4032 becomes effective immediately.
[News release from the