Guilty Plea, Innocent Defendant
Historically, guilty-plea defendants in Illinois have been denied the opportunity to present actual-innocence claims based on newly discovered evidence because their convictions were founded on valid guilty pleas. However, the Illinois Supreme Court recently held in People v. Reed that these defendants can raise claims of actual innocence under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act. Although this is a momentous victory for guilty-plea defendants, the burden they must meet is significant. In her April 2021 Illinois Bar Journal article, “Guilty Plea, Innocent Defendant,” Ashley Kidd, a law clerk for the Third District of the Illinois Appellate Court, discusses the function of plea agreements in our criminal justice system, the Reed decision, and how these claims should be presented post-Reed.
Read more in the April issue of the Illinois Bar Journal.