Publications

Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

Writs of Mandamus: What They Are, Why They Matter, and When to Use Them

By R. Joseph Cook and Michael Morthland
December
2016
Article
Page 34
In response to a recent Illinois Supreme Court decision, petitions for writ of mandamus will be on the rise in criminal-law practice. Here's how they work.

Remembering the Richard Speck Trial

By Mark J. Phillips and Aryn Z. Phillips
November
2016
Article
Page 46
Richard Speck's brutal murder of eight student nurses in Chicago 50 years ago shocked America, and the highly publicized trial posed tough challenges to the Illinois criminal justice system.

Sexual assault victims granted stricter protections and timely transfer of evidence from hospital to police

November
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Upon the completion of hospital emergency services and forensic services, health care professionals providing forensic services shall provide the patient the opportunity to sign a written consent to allow law enforcement to submit the sexual assault evidence for testing.

From the Discussions - What’s happening with cases pending before cannabis decriminalization took effect?

October
2016
Article
Page 48
Q. How are state's attorneys and judges handling cases for possession of small amounts of cannabis that are pending after the new cannabis decriminalization law took effect?

Possession of small amounts of cannabis now civil offense

October
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Cannabis Control Act has been amended to provide lesser punishments for possession of small amounts of cannabis.

When in custody, one must knowingly and intelligently waive Miranda rights

October
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Third District Appellate Court reversed an order denying respondent's motion to suppress his confession because he did not knowingly and intelligently waive his Miranda rights.

Bath salts are a Schedule I drug

September
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On July 8, 2015, the governor signed SB 1129. The bill amends the definition of controlled substance in 720 ILCS 570/102 to include synthetic drugs.

Failure to return rented or leased equipment is theft

September
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On July 8, 2016, Governor Rauner signed SB 1120. It amends 720 ILCS 5/16-3, which applies to theft of labor or services or use of property.

From the Discussions - Can I expunge multiple cases on one petition?

September
2016
Article
Page 44
Q. Can I expunge multiple cases on one petition, thereby avoiding filing fees?

Stalking and cyberstalking statutes held unconstitutional for lack of mens rea requirement

September
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On June 24, 2016, the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court vacated a defendant's conviction and sentence for stalking and cyberstalking, finding that both crimes are unconstitutional as they lack a mens rea requirement.

State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt a controlled substance was within 1,000 feet of a school

September
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On June 17th, 2016, the Appellate Court of Illinois reversed a defendant's conviction for delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school.

Police’s unauthorized entry of home after auto accident violates the Fourth Amendment

August
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On May 9, 2016, the Appellate Court of Illinois upheld a trial court's ruling to suppress evidence obtained by a warrantless entry into defendant's home.

Legislation aimed at reducing the backlog of untested rape kits

By Matthew Hector
July
2016
LawPulse
Page 12
Two bills awaiting the governor's signature are designed to keep rape evidence moving through the system and improve the quality of sexual-assault investigations.

Senate bill proposed to raise the threshold monetary value for felony criminal property damage

July
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Senate Bill 2907 would amend the Criminal Code of 2012 by increasing the threshold value of criminally damaged property in order for the destruction to be considered a felony crime.

Collateral Challenges to Illegal Sentences after People v. Castleberry

By Ken Stalkfleet
June
2016
Article
Page 36
In Castleberry, the Illinois Supreme Court abolished the "void sentence" doctrine, under which a sentence not authorized by statute was void. How should defense lawyers and prosecutors react to the post-Castleberry world?

Coming soon: The Cook County Community Court

By Matthew Hector
June
2016
LawPulse
Page 12
Chicago is one of 10 grant awardees nationwide for a DOJ project to fund pilot neighborhood-focused courts that bring offenders and victims together to resolve disputes.

Defendants may be found guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt without eyewitnesses, physical or forensic evidence, or a confession

June
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On November 12, 2015, the Third District of the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed Drew Peterson's first degree murder conviction and sentencing on the grounds that his guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Penalties for repeat DUI offenders reduced to reflect changes in legislation

June
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Public Acts 99-290, 99-296, 99-300, and 99-467, which all address DUIs and revoked or restricted licenses, prompted the implementation of the following amendments to 92 Ill. Adm. Code 1001 (eff. March 23, 2016).

Another try for pot decriminalization

By Matthew Hector
May
2016
LawPulse
Page 10
Proposed marijuana decriminalization legislation would adopt the governor's amendatory veto from last year, lowering the allowable possession amount and the THC level for drivers.

Cook County Accelerated Resolution Court Pilot Program established for eligible defendants

May
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Cook County created the Accelerated Resolution Court Pilot Program (the "Program") by amendment to the Corrections Code.

Enhanced sentencing under the Habitual Criminal Act does not violate proportionate penalties clause

May
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On February 19, 2016, the Supreme Court of Illinois held that enhanced sentencing under the Habitual Criminal Act does not affect whether a sentence for aggravated vehicular hijacking with a dangerous weapon other than a firearm ("AVH/DW") violates the Proportionate Penalties Clause of the Illinois Constitution.

Final Words: A Sentencing Hearing Guide for Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys

By Timothy James Ting
May
2016
Article
Page 24
A look at an often overlooked proceeding in criminal law that has a powerful impact on a defendant's future.

Marsy’s Law amended to provide greater procedural protections for victims and witnesses of crimes

May
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
Marsy's Law, also known as the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act of 2012, was amended to afford greater protections to victims and witnesses of crime.

No more suing prisoners for room and board?

By Matthew Hector
May
2016
LawPulse
Page 10
A senate bill would prohibit Illinois from suing prisoners for the cost of their prison stay.

Are We Making Murderers? False Confessions and Coercive Interrogation

By Ed Finkel
April
2016
Article
Page 22
It's no secret that criminal suspects in Illinois and elsewhere confess to crimes they didn't commit, often after aggressive police interrogation. But how widespread are false confessions in the post-Jon Burge era?

Criminal records may be sealed based on educational achievements made during sentence

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Amendments to the Criminal Identification Act allow sealing of certain eligible criminal records upon termination of a petitioner's last sentence.

Definition of “sexual abuse” expanded for employees of state-operated facilities and community agencies

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Department amended the Part on the Office of Inspector General Investigations of Alleged Abuse or Neglect in State-Operated Facilities and Community Agencies pursuant to Pub. Act 99-323. 59 Ill. Adm. Code 50 (eff. Jan. 5, 2016).

Education grants established for persons exonerated of wrongful convictions

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Commission adopted a new Part titled Grant Program for Exonerees pursuant to Pub. Act 99-199. 23 Ill. Adm. Code 2743 (eff. Jan. 7, 2016).

Identification of a known minor victim required in charging documents to preserve criminal defendant’s rights

April
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court's holdings, which approved the trial courts' dismissal of criminal charges because of an insufficient charging document.

Sentencing scheme for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon does not violate Illinois Constitution’s Proportionate Penalties Clause

March
2016
Illinois Law Update
Page 26
On December 3, 2015, the Supreme Court of Illinois reversed a circuit court's order and held that section 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(C) of the Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon (AUUW) statute does not violate the Proportionate Penalties Clause of the Illinois Constitution or the Equal Protection clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions.

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