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Wine Tasting & Social

Tuesday, December 2

5:00 - 7:30 p.m.

McLean County Arts Center
611 N. East Street, Bloomington

Stay tuned for more details.

Membership Event

September 9, 2014

Coming Soon!!!
Drinks & Dialogue: What's On Your Ballot
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

5:30 p.m. A. Renée
306 N. Center Street, Bloomington
Please click here for directions.

This informal event will be a pre-election discussion of the many November ballot items such as constitutional amendments, statewide advisory questions, and a possible binding referendum to eliminate the office of auditor in McLean County. Get information on Marsy’s Law, a victim’s rights issue; discuss the controversy around employers’ healthcare coverage for birth control; and other important issues that you will be voting on in the November election. Click here for more information on ballot items.

Plan to join us for a $5 wine night with the discussion beginning at 6:00 p.m. If you have questions, please e-mail Camille Taylor at d_dialogue@lwvmclean.org

Judge Freitage Speaks to League

Circuit Court Judge Robert Freitag was assigned to the criminal division of the Circuit Court in November 2006, and began serving as presiding judge of the criminal division in December 2008. Drawing upon this experience, he was the perfect choice for the meeting on Criminal Law sponsored by the LWV of McLean County and the local ACLU chapter on September 30, at the Normal Public Library. He concentrated on two components of the criminal courts - the Sexual Offender Registration Act (SORA) and the sentencing phase of the criminal process.

He pointed out the vastness of SORA, both in the size of the statute and in the demanding requirements in the registration process. He pointed out the difference between a "sexual offender" and a "sexual predator" as prescribed by the law and how this affects the registration requirements - the main difference being that a predator must register annually for the rest of his/her life while an offender must register annually for 10 years. In addition, both must notify the appropriate authorities anytime there is a change in address, employment, e-mail addresses among many other factors. Failure to comply results in extension of registration requirements or reincarceration.

Judge Freitag discussed the sentencing phase of a criminal trial. This happens in only some criminal trials, as many times the prosecution and defense can agree on sentencing prior to a hearing. But when this is not possible, there is a hearing where the prosecution presents "aggravating" factors to support its recommendation and the defense presents "mitigating" factors to support the defendant's side. The victim of the crime may or may not present a victim's impact statement, but when there is one, what can be put in the statement is closely guided by statute. The defendant is also allowed to address the judge and this gives him/her the opportunity to show remorse or offer motivation behind the crime. All this testimony will be used by the judge to determine the sentence, using the minimum and maximum parameters set in the law.

Our thanks to Judge Freitag for a very informative and entertaining discussion and to the forty or so attendees for their very thoughtful questions and comments.

Links to Events of Interest


The League has recently received many requests to conduct voter registration events throughout the community in preparation for the upcoming November election. To fulfill this important mission, we are putting out a call to anyone who has been certified as a deputy registrar. Please e-mail J. E. Myers if you are interested in participating.

Voters Guide 2014 Now Online

The Voters Guide 2014 is now online. This guide, compiled by Julie Sullivan, will help in learning about the candidates and how they stand on issues. The League sent questionnaires to all candidates whose candidacy has been verified with the Board of Elections. Each candidate's reply has been printed as submitted, only edited from the bottom when a candidate exceeded the word limit.

The candidates included are those for the November 4, 2014 elections for U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois State Senate, Illinois Representative to the General Assembly, McLean County Clerk, McLean County Treasurer, McLean County Sheriff, Regional Superintendent of Schools and McLean County Board

Click here to read the guide.

League Members On Parade

Several League members marched in the annual Labor Day parade on September 1. The parade's theme was "Follow in Their Footsteps" and was chosen to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution that gave women the right to vote.