Continuing Legal Education

Implicit Bias in the Criminal Justice System

January 13, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
6.00 MCLE hours, including 3.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)

ISBA Regional Office
20 S. Clark Street, Suite 900
(map and directions)


We have a history of gender and racial bias on our court that continues to undermine the system.
Excluding individuals based on race is antagonistic to the pursuit of justice.
--Anita Hill

Join us for a comprehensive look at how implicit racial bias impacts the criminal justice system, including through wrongful convictions based on false identification. Prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, and others who attend this seminar will better understand:

  • How implicit bias negatively impacts individuals caught in the criminal justice system;
  • How the misidentification of criminal suspects is often a result of witness bias;
  • The purpose behind the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office;
  • Why, as attorneys, it’s important to recognize bias within ourselves;
  • The reasons behind false confessions and how the law can help prevent it from happening;
  • The professional ethics issues that can arise during false confession cases; and
  • Much more!

Program Coordinators/Moderators:
Prof. Kim D. Chanbonpin
, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago
Kristine Honiotes, The Law Office of Vincent F. Cornelius, Joliet

NOTE: Beginning in 2017, your registration includes access to electronic course materials that will be sent to you via email prior to the seminar. Printed course materials may be purchased for a nominal fee via the registration page.


9:00 – 10:00 a.m.  False Identification and Wrongful Convictions
Learn how the implicit bias of witnesses can affect the misidentification of criminal suspects with this in-depth discussion on wrongful convictions. The speaker also discusses her work with the Innocence Project.
Lauren F. Kaeseberg, Illinois Innocence Project, Springfield

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

10:15 – 11:15 a.m.  Wrongful Convictions and the Conviction Integrity Unit
Gain a better understanding of the purpose behind Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office’s first-ever Conviction Integrity Unit and how it has helped with wrongful convictions.
Nancy Adduci, Conviction Integrity Unit, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Chicago

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  A Primer on Implicit Bias*
Don’t miss this introduction to the social science of implicit bias and the various ways in which it can negatively impact individuals caught in the criminal justice system.
Prof. Destiny Peery, Northwestern Priztker School of Law, Chicago

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.  Lunch (on your own)

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.  Race Bias and the Importance of Consciousness for Criminal Defense Attorneys*
It is imperative that criminal defense attorneys be aware of any race bias they may have before engaging with their client. This segment explains why consciousness of this issue is so important to the judicial process.
Prof. Andrea D. Lyon, Dean, Valparaiso University Law, Indiana

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.  False Confessions
In 2012, CBS News declared Chicago to be “The False Confession Capital” in the country, which account for 15-25% of wrongful convictions. This presentation provides the necessary background for understanding the reasons behind false confessions, as well as the role laws play in preventing and remedying this phenomenon.
Adrienne E. Davis, Cook County Public Defender Office, Chicago

3:15 – 3:30 p.m.  Break (refreshments provided)
Sponsored by the Illinois Bar Foundation

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.  Ethics*
This segment explores the professional ethics issues that are likely to arise in both the prosecutorial and defense sides in false confession cases.
Prof. Hugh Mundy, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval