Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Criminal Law and Procedure

Incomplete partial-fingerprint analysis insufficient for conviction

June
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
At a trial convicting the defendant of residential burglary, the state presented a fingerprint expert’s testimony on a partial fingerprint obtained at the scene that matched the defendant’s.

Insufficient evidence for involuntary-manslaughter-instruction request

June
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
A state trooper convicted of first-degree murder of his girlfriend at a middle-school graduation party argued on appeal that the circuit court denied him a fair trial by refusing to instruct the jury on the lesser offense of involuntary manslaughter.

Plea of guilty but mentally ill found valid despite later motion to withdraw

April
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On Jan. 30, 2020, the Fifth District Appellate Court affirmed a lower court’s ruling denying a defendant’s motion to withdraw his plea of guilty but mentally ill.

Illinois Gets Away With Felony Murder

By Rhys Saunders
January
2020
LawPulse
Page 12
The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear a challenge to Illinois’ felony murder law.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s About Face in In re N.G.

By Benjamin Lawson
December
2019
Article
Page 38
In 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court held that unconstitutionally obtained gun convictions could be used for charging and enhancement purposes unless the defendant vacated the conviction. Two years later, the court admitted it got it wrong.

Criminal sex crimes statute of limitations

October
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
Under current law, prosecution for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault, or aggravated criminal sexual abuse must be commenced within 10 years of the commission of the offense if the victim reported the offense within three years of the commission.

Emergency medical assistance for sexual assault might not lead to arrest if warrant out

October
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The Illinois General Assembly amended the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 to alter the procedures for effecting a warrant of arrest in certain circumstances.

Make It Go Away: A Practical and Realistic Guide to Expungement, Sealing, and Other Criminal Record Reforms

By Paul C. Meyers
September
2019
Article
Page 26
How to respond to client expungement and sealing inquiries in the wake of significant criminal record reforms in Illinois.

Proximate cause required for showing commencement or continuance prong of malicious prosecution

April
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
In 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the conviction of the plaintiff, Alan Beaman, of the murder of his ex-girlfriend because the state violated his constitutional right to due process under Brady v. Maryland when it failed to disclose material and exculpatory information about a viable alternative suspect.

Section 112-6 of the Criminal Code and Protective Orders trigger FOIA exemptions

April
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On April 24, 2004, Richard Vanecko struck David Koschman in the face, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the sidewalk.

Introduction of other-crimes evidence from prior conviction involving a different drug

March
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
On Dec. 14, 2018, after a jury trial, the defendant was convicted for the unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. It was also alleged that the defendant was within 1,000 feet of a school at the time of the offense.

No substantial basis for probable cause makes search warrant invalid

March
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
On Dec. 28, 2018, after a jury trial, the defendant was convicted for the unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. In addition, the defendant was acquitted of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

Punitive fees assessed to recover expenses incurred by state in prosecution

March
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
On Dec. 28, 2018, after a jury trial, the defendant was convicted for a Class 2 felony for delivery of a controlled substance and ordered to pay $1,549 in fines, fees, and costs.

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Plea Bargaining in Illinois

By Nate Nieman
March
2019
Article
Page 34
Recent decisions in the U.S. and Illinois Supreme Courts have complicated the landscape for ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims brought in Illinois.

Code of Criminal Procedure amended to allow informant testimony with less than 30-day notice

February
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 is amended by changing section 115-21 ("Informant Testimony") as follows. Courts may permit the prosecution to disclose its intent to introduce the testimony of an informant with less notice than the 30-day notice required under subsections (c) and (d) of this section, if the court finds that the informant was not known prior to the 30-day notice period.

Judge must find a history of delinquency or criminality before a defendant may waive a presentence investigation report

February
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
Courts must determine the appropriateness of an agreed-upon sentence in a negotiated plea deal before accepting its terms.

New postplea proceedings required after failing to comply with Rule 604(d) certification requirements

February
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The defendant pled guilty to aggravated unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and four counts of unlawful use of a credit card. The defendant's postplea proceedings in circuit court were completed more than a year before Rule 604(d) was amended. Thus, amended Rule 604(d) did not apply then to the defendant's case.

Private viewing of video in chambers not a due process violation

February
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
Following a bench trial, the defendant was convicted of battery and other offenses related to a DUI stop. A squad-car video was presented as evidence, but the judge had to view it in chambers because the court did not have video capabilities in the courtroom.

Sentence appeal filed one day late dismissed as untimely

February
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
The defendant's appeal was rejected by the second district because appellate courts lack jurisdiction when a notice of appeal is untimely.

Innocence challenge after guilty plea must present a truly persuasive demonstration of innocence through compelling evidence

December
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On Sept. 28, 2018, the First District Appellate Court of Illinois held that a defendant raising a freestanding actual innocence challenge after previously entering a guilty plea must present a truly persuasive demonstration of innocence in the form of compelling evidence.

Suspicion from odd behavior at traffic stop doesn’t support canine unit search

November
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Nervousness, a criminal history, and other odd behavior are not enough to create a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity during a traffic stop, according to the fourth district.

The Trial

By Pete Sherman
November
2018
LawPulse
Page 12
Two ISBA members reflect on the Jason Van Dyke trial, its aftermath, and meaning.

Multiple methamphetamine manufacturing charges not improper under the one-act, one-crime doctrine

October
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
On Aug. 6, 2018, the Fourth District Appellate Court of Illinois held that the one-act, one-crime doctrine is not violated when each count requires a different act.

Pre-trial detainees not required to give birth in jail

October
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
The Criminal Code was amended to include an affirmative statement requiring courts to take measures to avoid child deliveries in pre-trial detention.

Court must question defendant after alleging ineffective assistance of counsel at posttrial hearing

August
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Illinois Appellate Court ruled that a trial court failed to ask follow-up questions after a defendant made a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Additionally, pepper spray used on a store clerk is a "dangerous weapon" within the meaning of the armed robbery statute.

It’s Time to Define ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’

By Timothy James Ting
July
2018
Article
Page 24
Unlike most state courts, Illinois courts do not define "reasonable doubt" for juries. Should Illinois reconsider?

Court held that the Bradford physical authority test applies to all retail theft cases in reversing burglary conviction

April
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
In July 2014, defendant Darren Johnson was arrested for shoplifting $76.91 worth of clothing from a local Wal-Mart. The state charged the defendant with retail theft and burglary.

Criminal justice reform focuses on community service and reentry

April
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Illinois Vehicle Code is amended to allow the court to give credit toward the fulfillment of community service hours for participation in activities and treatment as determined by court services.

Trial courts to allow petitions to show post-partum mental illnesses

March
2018
Illinois Law Update
Page 24
The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 is amended by changing section 122-1 (725 ILCS 5/122-1) to allow for petitions in the trial court for those imprisoned that can establish their participation in a felony was a direct result of post-partum depression or psychosis, or if no direct evidence of these mental states was presented at trial or sentencing.

Illegal Stops and the Exclusionary Rule after Utah v. Strieff

By Julia Kaye Wykoff
December
2017
Article
Page 32
In Utah v. Strieff, the police stopped a suspect illegally but discovered there was a warrant for his arrest. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that evidence found during the subsequent search was admissible despite the illegal stop thanks to the discovery of the warrant. This article reviews the implications of Strieff for prosecutors and defense lawyers.

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