Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

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.
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.
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).
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.
Weapons Restrictions and the Second Amendment: Illinois Law After Aguilar By Jill Ausdenmoore March 2016 Article, Page 34 What parts of the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute are still valid after Aguilar and its progeny? A look at the current state of Illinois law.
Circuit court does not have power to dismiss case for want of prosecution when State does not appear for 15 minutes February 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 On December 4, 2015, the Fourth District Appellate Court reversed the circuit court's dismissal of traffic charges against defendant Alberto Lopez.
New restrictions on vendors seeking debt collection from crime victims February 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 Under this new section in the Crime Victims Compensation Act ("CVCA"), new restrictions have been placed on vendors seeking to collect debts from crime victims.
When Is Identity Evidence Unsuppressible in a Criminal Case? By Charles P. Burns and Michael Conte February 2016 Article, Page 40 Does a stop's illegality taint the evidence obtained from it? A Fourth Amendment debate in the federal courts could spill over into Illinois criminal cases.
Ending the One-Man Show-Up By Brendan Max December 2015 Article, Page 36 In a show-up, police bring a suspect back to the scene for a witnesses i.d. This article discusses its inherent risks and suggests that face-recognition technology may offer an alternative.
Pacesetting police body camera law takes effect January 1 By Matthew Hector December 2015 LawPulse, Page 12 The sweeping legislation also expands police officer training beyond the academy, bans chokeholds, and clarifies that citizens may film police officers, among other changes.
Cook County Drug Analysis Field Test Pilot Program initiated November 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 20 The Cook County Drug Analysis Field Test Pilot Program has been initiated.
Proposed amendments to Criminal Code of 2012 expand definition of sexual orientation November 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 20 The "Hate Crime," "Institutional Vandalism," and "factors in aggravation and extended-term sentencing" sections of the Criminal Code of 2012 (the "Criminal Code") have been amended.
Report: State police crime lab’s toxicology testing methodology flawed By Matthew Hector November 2015 LawPulse, Page 14 According to a news report and a criminal defense lawyer, internal audits of the Illinois State Police crime lab's toxicology section reveal fundamental problems with the section's testing methodology.
Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute’s FOID card and minor provisions are severable from its unconstitutional provisions October 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 On July 13, 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court held that sections 24-1.6(a)(1), (a)(3)(A), and (d)(2) of the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon ("AUUW") statute are unconstitutional.
For Traffic Stops, Ignorance of the Law Can Be an Excuse By Rob Shumaker September 2015 Article, Page 38 Recent cases from the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts hold that an officer's objectively reasonable mistake of law can justify a traffic stop.
Possession of a firearm and ammunition deemed separate offenses September 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 On February 20, 2015, the supreme court held that the unlawful use of weapons ("UUW") by a felon statute authorizes the State to charge the possession of a firearm and the possession of ammunition as separate offenses.
Proposed rule would require prosecutors to reveal post-conviction exculpatory evidence By Matthew Hector September 2015 LawPulse, Page 12 Under a proposed change to the Rules of Professional Conduct, Illinois prosecutors would have to disclose credible post-conviction evidence that a person found guilty is in fact innocent.
Record of an arrest based on mistaken identity may be disposed of by State or Local Records Commission September 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 This bill would amend both the State Records Act and Local Records Act in regard to procedures for destruction of arrest records for arrests based on mistaken identity.
Bill would decriminalize pot possession, tie DUI to impairment By Matthew Hector June 2015 LawPulse, Page 10 HB 218 would lower the penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a fine and change DUI law so that drivers could no longer be charged for registering only trace amounts of cannabis.
Defendant obtains dashcam recordings through FOIA request By Matthew Hector June 2015 LawPulse, Page 10 After police said dashcam videos of a traffic-related marijuana arrest didn't exist, the defendant announced he already had them. How? He got them in response to a FOIA request.
When ‘Or’ Means ‘And’: A Trap for Criminal Appeals By Timothy J. Ting June 2015 Article, Page 40 Criminal defense lawyers who appeal judgments entered after guilty pleas must certify that they have consulted their client about claims of error in both the guilty plea and sentence.
Increased access to individual criminal history transcripts May 2015 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 Where before only law enforcement and correctional facilities could provide individuals with their criminal history transcripts, a new rulemaking by the Department of State Police allows licensed fingerprint vendors to provide this service for a fee.