HB 3375: Give People Sentenced as Children a Chance to Submit a Petition Based on Today’s Brain Science


Representative Lilian Jiménez and Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas

In 2012, the US Supreme Court created a new constitutional rule requiring states to consider youth and relevant characteristics (peer and familial pressure, family history, history of abuse, potential for rehabilitation, level of participation in the crime, etc.) when sentencing young people (Miller v. Alabama). 

In 2014, the Illinois General Assembly adopted these factors into state law with the bipartisan Public Act 99-0069. Illinois courts now must consider those factors when sentencing people 18 and younger in adult court. The Illinois Supreme Court later extended the Miller factors to 18-20-year-olds (People v. Harris). 

The problem is Illinois’ law makes it extremely difficult for a person to file more than one post-conviction petition, and the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Miller isn’t a sufficient reason for a person to be able to file a second petition.

HB 3375 would create a narrow exception to the Post-Conviction Hearing Act. The bill would eliminate the “cause” requirement for people sentenced before they turned 21 who want to file new petitions citing their youth. 

Bill Status

The bill was introduced in the House on February 17, 2023. It passed through the House and is now pending in the Senate.

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