Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

Evidentiary hearing was necessary in death penalty appeal to determine whether the state would have exercised a peremptory challenge in the absence of gender-related motivations May 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 230 On March 2, 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's dismissal of the defendant's post-conviction petition filed in a death penalty case.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath May 2001 Column, Page 226 Arbitration clauses in employment contracts are enforceable; visit the Illinois Supreme Court Web site; and more.
Proposed legislation would toughen penalties for hate crimes; H.B. 0136 May 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 230 The Illinois House of Representatives has approved legislation that would toughen the state's stance against hate crimes.
2000 Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Survey: Guilty-Plea Appeals Redux By James R. Reddy April 2001 Article, Page 190 The court reviewed a remarkable 45 death-penalty cases and cleared up confusion about guilty-plea appeals.
91st General Assembly passes, governor signs “quick fix” to sentence-enhancing deficiencies; P.A. 91-0953 April 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 170 Citing a recent Supreme Court opinion, Illinois criminal defendants have successfully argued for a reduction in court-imposed sentences where the length of sentence was based on certain factors not proven during their trial.
Aliens, Guilty Pleas, and the Risk of Deportation: Time for Legislative Action By Moira K. Moran and Patrick M. Kinnally April 2001 Article, Page 194 The authors recommend that the General Assembly require judges to admonish noncitizen defendants that they could be deported if they plead guilty.
Appendix April 2001 Column, Page 209 (U) decided without dissent
The Illinois law prohibiting the unauthorized possession of weapons on public property is not unconstitutionally vague, nor does it violate separation of powers principles April 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 170 On February 16, 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's finding that § 21-6 of the Criminal Code of 1961, 720 ILCS 5/21-6, was unconstitutional.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath April 2001 Column, Page 166 Police can keep suspects out of their own homes; adoption by one spouse only; arbitration clauses and fee agreements; and more.
Proposed legislation attempts to curb racial profiling in traffic stops; H.B. 805 April 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 170 Under legislation proposed by State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville), police officers would have to record the race of every driver stopped or ticketed.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath March 2001 Column, Page 112 Real Property Disclosure Act; legal department summon(s)ed in error; questions of law now collaterally estoppable; and more.
Violations of the constitutional right to a speedy trial, reviewed de novo, are decided by balancing the length of delay, reasons for delay, defendant’s assertion of the right, and the resulting prejudice March 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 On January 19, 2001, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's finding that the defendant, Anthony Crane, had his constitutional right to a speedy trial violated.
Damaging property gets more expensive for offenders - P.A. 91-931 February 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 60 Persons who damage or deface property may now face stiffer penalties as a result of a new Illinois law.
Double jeopardy provisions prohibit ordering of new trial to correct erroneous evidentiary ruling at first trial February 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 60 On December 1, 2000, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court and held that ordering a new trial to correct an evidentiary ruling unfavorable to the state during the first trial, after entering a judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the verdict, violated double jeopardy provisions.
Governor’s amendatory veto to Criminal Code legislation accepted; P.A. 91-928 February 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 60 As one of its few acts during the fall veto session, the 91st Illinois General Assembly accepted Gov. George H. Ryan's amendatory veto of crime legislation.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath February 2001 Column, Page 56 When does may mean must? When it comes to appealing interlocutory orders
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath January 2001 Column, Page 10 Standard of review for fee suits; U.S. Supremes just say no to drug-sniffing dogs at checkpoints; employee claims rejected by 7CA; and more.
Legislation mandates legal representation for pre-teens suspected of murder or sex crimes — P.A. 91-915 January 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 14 Gov. George H. Ryan approved legislation that ensures legal representation for young minors suspected of murder or sex offenses.
A prosecutor’s closing argument which refers to defendant’s failure to testify and tries to shift the burden of proof justifies reversal where evidence of guilt is not overwhelming January 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 14 On October 31, 2000, the first district of the Appellate Court of Illinois reversed the defendant's conviction for armed robbery on his claim that he was denied his right to a fair trial as a result of improper prosecutorial remarks during closing arguments.
Habeas corpus relief may be granted where defense counsel fails to object to identification tainted by the state’s suggestive procedures and which lacks independent reliability December 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 690 On October 12, 2000, the seventh circuit court of appeals ruled that the district court erred in dismissing defendant's habeas corpus petition based on the finding that his trial counsel was not ineffective.
Law permits seizure and disposition of gang property - P.A. 91-876 December 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 690 Beginning next year, Illinois law enforcement officials will have an additional incentive to identify members of streetgangs.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath December 2000 Column, Page 686 Extra protection against self-incrimination; grandparents get their (bad) day in court; and more.
Legislation shifts burden of proof—P.A. 91-770 December 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 690 Persons found not guilty by reason of insanity will bear the burden of proving that they are well enough to leave a secure mental hospital under an amendment to the Uniform Code of Corrections.
New hearsay exception for “safe zone testimony” ; P.A. 91-899 December 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 690 Under a recent change to the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure, certain hearsay evidence will soon be admissible in some circumstances.
Appeals from Plea Agreements: New Rules Clarify the Law By James G. Fahey November 2000 Article, Page 642 Effective November 1, the Illinois Supreme Court amended Rules 604 and 605 to clear up the confused law of plea-agreement appeals. Read all about it.
Criminal trespass to residence now felony in some circumstances; P.A. 91-895 November 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 624 As a result of a new Illinois law, the Illinois State Police established a pilot program aimed at testing technology designed to measure driver impairment caused by alcohol or other drug use.
Defendant must face custodial interrogation to effectively invoke Miranda right to counsel November 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 624 On September 21, 2000, the Supreme Court of Illinois ruled that the trial court did not err in refusing to suppress a confession given by the defendant while in custody on a murder charge.
Harassing and Obscene Communications Act amended; P.A. 91-878 November 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 624 First-time offenders that place harassing telephone calls are normally guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, and repeat offenders face a minimum of 14 days in jail or 240 hours of public service work.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath November 2000 Column, Page 620 A lower burden of proof for consumer fraud? Arbitration-award rejection—can secretaries sign after all? and more.
Certain sex offenders prohibited from living near schools; P.A. 91-911 October 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 563 Although no sex offender will be forced to move from his or her home, certain offenders will no longer be allowed to reside near certain protected areas under a new Illinois law signed by Gov. George H. Ryan.