Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Sentencing

Mental illness officially taken into consideration for sentencing November 2016 Illinois Law Update, Page 18 The Unified Code of Corrections was amended to ensure mental illness will be weighed in favor of withholding or minimizing a prison sentence.
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.
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.
Additional factor in imposing extended term sentences. PA 098-0014 August 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 392 With the popularity of flash mobs - and flash mob criminal groups - on the rise in recent years, the legislature added mob action to the list of factors that a court may consider in order to impose an extended term sentence. 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3.2.
Illinois lawmakers revive overturned armed robbery sentencing enhancement By Adam W. Lasker July 2013 LawPulse, Page 330 After the high court held a sentencing enhancement unenforceable because its penalty was tougher than that of a second law with the same elements, lawmakers changed the elements of the second law and thereby revived the first.
Guilty Pleas and Parole: A Practitioner’s Guide to People v Whitfield By Geoffrey Burkhart November 2011 Article, Page 580 Whitfield creates a remedy for defendants who took negotiated pleas without being told they must also do "mandatory supervised release" (aka parole). This article explores the law.
Fine raised for imposing absolute liability for misdemeanor crimes. PA 096-1198 July 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 Illinois lawmakers have amended the Criminal Code of 1961 to raise the fine when imposing absolute liability on a person who committed a misdemeanor offense that is not punishable by incarceration (720 ILCS 5/4-9).
First-time misdemeanor violators of the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act may elect to receive treatment. PA 096-1440. July 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 The Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act has been amended and expanded to allow not only addicts or alcoholics convicted of a crime but also first-time misdemeanor violators of the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act to choose to receive treatment under the supervision of a designated licensed program. (20 ILCS 301/40-5; 720 ILCS 690/4).
Death penalty is abolished. PA 096-1543 May 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 228 Illinois lawmakers have abolished the death penalty in Illinois and all existing sentences may not be imposed. (725 ILCS 5/119-1 new). All monies previously held in the Capital Litigation Trust Fund are now to be used to provide services for families of the victims of homicide and to provide training for law enforcement personnel.
Retail theft penalties adjusted. PA 096-1301 December 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 616  Penalties for theft have been adjusted by Illinois lawmakers to increase the value of property covered by minimum misdemeanor and felony sentencing. 720 ILCS 5/16-1.
Killing medical professionals on the job now an aggravating factor. PA 096-1475 November 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 564 The Criminal Code of 1961 has been amended to add an aggravating factor that can result in natural life imprisonment for a criminal offender. (720 ILCS 5/9-1)
Court Supervision after Padilla v Kentucky By Gary J. Ravitz July 2010 Article, Page 362 Lawyers who misinform clients about supervision could be in for trouble, especially when deportation is at stake.
Electronic Home Detention Program now available for juvenile offenders. PA 096-0293 July 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 348 Illinois lawmakers amended the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 to allow electronic home detention as an appropriate form of sentencing for wards of the court. 705 ILCS 405/5-7A-101.
Penalties stiffened for animal and dog fighting. PA 096-0226 February 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 72 Illinois lawmakers in recent months stiffened penalties for activities associated with animal and dog fighting. 
New Law Clarifies Illinois’ Sentencing Statutes By John J. Cullerton, Peter G. Baroni, Daniel S. Mayerfield, Ryan J. Rohlfsen, and Paul H. Tzur September 2009 Article, Page 466 A newly enacted reorganization of the Unified Code of Corrections helps bring sentencing up to date in Illinois.
Demystifying Illinois DUI Sentencing By Larry A. Davis July 2009 Article, Page 352 Presenting Illinois’ confusing DUI sentencing options as a chart enables practitioners to see at a glance which penalties their clients face.
No withdrawal allowed for a “blind plea” January 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On October 26, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Will County sentencing the defendant to 22 years for pleading guilty to two counts of first degree murder.
Challenging the Constitutionality of the Illinois Consecutive Sentencing Statute By Patrick Gallagher February 2007 Article, Page 96 The author argues that the Illinois consecutive sentencing statute violates the Sixth Amendment by allowing judges rather than jurors to make findings of fact that increase a defendant's punishment.
Police departments typically not “victims” under restitution statute July 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 334 On April 6, 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed in part and vacated in part the decision of the Circuit Court of DuPage County to order defendant Danenberger to pay restitution to the Naperville Police Department (Department) as a condition of her probation for filing a false police report. 
Court Supervision in Traffic Cases: New Strategies for Amended Laws By Theodore J. Harvatin April 2006 Article, Page 192 What impact does supervision really have on your clients, especially commercial drivers? Make sure you're up to date.
Adding conditions to plea agreement after it is negotiated may violate defendant’s due process rights March 2006 Illinois Law Update, Page 118 On December 20, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, and vacated the sentence imposed by the Circuit Court of Cook County on the defendant.
Mandatory minimum sentence increased for domestic battery - PA 093-0809 June 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 280 Effective on January 1, 2005, in addition to any other sentencing alternatives for a second or subsequent conviction for domestic battery, an individual will be automatically sentenced to a minimum of 72 consecutive hours in prison.
Sentencing guidelines: mandatory no more By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2005 LawPulse, Page 162 The U.S. Supreme Court shook up federal criminal practice by ruling in Booker/Fanfanthat sentencing guidelines are advisory only. Not surprisingly, many questions remain.
Probation in combination with imprisonment deemed acceptable punishment for offenders admitted into a drug court program P.A. 093-1014 December 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 620 In an effort to advance both the rehabilitation of criminal offenders and public protection, the Illinois Unified Code of Corrections (IUCC) has been amended to assert that a term of imprisonment in combination.
A plea agreement cannot be rejected for lack of timeliness unless the defendant has been given advance notice of a deadline November 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 568 On August 11, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, reversed the Circuit Court of Champaign County's conviction and sentence and remanded the case for further proceedings.
Will Blakely create sentencing chaos? By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2004 LawPulse, Page 508 Federal and many state courts are holding off on sentencing hearings in the wake of Blakely, but the case will have limited impact on Illinois state courts. Find out why.
Trial court erred in ordering restitution based on a charge that was dismissed as part of plea agreement. March 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 124 On December 30, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, vacated the order of the trial court ordering the defendant to pay restitution based on a criminal damage to property charge that was dismissed as a part of her plea agreement on other charges.
Aggravated battery cannot be the predicate offense for felony murder. January 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On October 17, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded the appellate court's decision to overturn the defendant's conviction of felony murder because it was improperly predicated upon aggravated battery.
Offense elements must be identical for a proportionate penalties clause challenge to succeed December 2003 Illinois Law Update, Page 600 On September 18, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the portion of the appellate court's decision that vacated the defendant's extended-term sentence.