Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Death Penalty

Proposed Reforms to the Illinois Capital Punishment System: A Status Report By Thomas P. Sullivan January 2008 Article, Page 38 A look at the fate of commission proposals for death-penalty reform. Bottom line: the system is better but there’s room for improvement. 
Fees, Part 1: Budgeting required for Capital Litigators By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2005 Lawpulse, Page 438 Appointed criminal defense counsel must now submit budget estimates under the amended Capital Crimes Litigation Act.  
Investigators in capital cases may obtain criminal information on potential witnesses PA 093-1011 March 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 116 Effective January 1, 2005, the State Appellate Defender may hire investigators to provide investigative services to appointed counsel and county public defenders. 
Capital Punishment Reform and the Illinois Supreme Court: at the Forefront of Change By Judge Michael P. Toomin December 2004 Article, Page 642 The supreme court had already implemented some of the reforms later recommended by the Ryan commission, this author notes.
Revisions Made Regarding Custodial Interviewing and Death Penalty Sentencing P.A. 93-0605 July 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 340 Effective immediately, a pilot program requiring the recording of custodial interviews of suspects will be established in four police stations in the State of Illinois.
2003 Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Cases: Traffic Stops and Apprendi Retroactivity By Evelyn G. Baniewicz April 2004 Article, Page 190 A look at the leading criminal law decisions from the 2003 term
Capital Punishment Reform; What’s Been Done and What Remains to Be Done By Thomas P. Sullivan April 2004 Article, Page 200 A summary of changes wrought by Illinois' capital punishment reform legislation.
Death Penalty Reform Measures May Include Stricter Punishments for Police Officers who Lie Under Oath in Murder Trials P.A. 93-0655 April 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 176 This legislation will become effective if the legislature enacts the Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee Act (Senate Bill 472) over the Governor's amendatory veto.
Blind plea, blind justice? By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2003 Lawpulse, Page 8 Capital murder trials put a strain on county budgets, which has led to second-class justice in some cases, critics charge. But improvements in the capital litigation system are making a difference.
Perspectives on death-penalty reform By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2002 Lawpulse, Page 338 A prosecutor and criminal defense attorney react to the recommendations of Governor Ryan's Commission on Capital Punishment.
Repair or Repeal; Report of the Governor’s Commission on Capital Punishment By Thomas P. Sullivan June 2002 Article, Page 304 A summary by the commission co-chair of the most significant recommendations.
General Assembly approves expanded application of the death penalty; H.B. 1812 July 2001 Illinois Law Update, Page 342 The General Assembly recently approved a measure that will make perpetrators of gang-related murders eligible for the death penalty.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath July 2001 Column, Page 338 Golfers in the (legal) news; capital punishment and the mentally retarded; and more.
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 October 2000 Column, Page 560 The illusion of insurance exclusion; lease lacking, landlord loses; OSHA makes house calls; and more.
Trial court did not improperly dismiss potential juror in death penalty case August 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 438 On June 15, 2000, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed first degree murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery convictions against Paris D. Sims, as well as a death sentence ordered by the circuit court of St. Clair County.
Capital Crimes Litigation Trust Fund March 2000 Illinois Law Update, Page 128 On December 23, 1999, the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer adopted emergency rules to section 725 of the Illinois Administrative Code. 74 Ill Adm Code 725.
A Level Field for Death Penalty Cases By Timothy L. Bertschy April 1999 Column, Page 184 When Illinois re-enacted the death penalty in 1977, the General Assembly and the criminal justice system made a legal and moral commitment to the people of Illinois that, if executions take place in their name, they would be done right.