In March of 2012, Molly Young, a 21-year-old Carbondale resident, was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head in her ex-boyfriend’s apartment. When insufficient evidence was found to rule the incident either a homicide or a suicide to issue an indictment, Young’s family filed a civil suit against the boyfriend to seek justice for their daughter.
Justice never came to the Young family because, under Illinois’ current law, the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years.
Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton), House Bill 6083, was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday to raise the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims to five years.
“The story of Molly Young is a tragic one. This family has yet to get answers they need for the closure and justice they deserve because, unfortunately, time ran out,” Forby said. “ I think this is an injustice to the family, and I don’t want similar stories to arise. When a death occurs as a result of violent and intentional conduct, two years is not enough time to fully investigate what happened and bring the culprit to justice.”
Another part of Molly’s Law signed Tuesday is House Bill 4715.
The measure will impose civil penalties for instances of a public body’s willful and intentional failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act. This was in response to the Young family’s repeatedly blocked FOIA attempts to receive information about the case.
“FOIA requests are meant to provide transparency and give citizens information they need,” Forby added. “Under no circumstances should FOIA requests such as these be blocked. I hope this legislation will help bring the Young family the justice they deserve.”