Publications

Articles on Sentencing

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. 

Defendant who was absent at trial may file for appellate review pursuant to section 115-4.1(g) so long as appeal raises issues of fundamental fairness and due process

September
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 436
On May 20, 2003, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Cook County convicting the defendant of theft by deception and sentencing him in absentia.

Provisions under P. A. 91-0404, imposing mandatory 15- and 20-year sentence enhancements for possession or personal discharge of a firearm in the commission of certain offenses, held unconstitutional

September
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 436
On June 19, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the provisions under P. A. 91-0404, §5, effective January 1, 2000.

Sentence in excess of maximum for involuntary manslaughter violates Apprendi, but subject to harmless error analysis where uncontradicted evidence in support of sentencing enhancement

May
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 226
On February 6, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the sentencing court's imposition of an enhanced sentence for involuntary manslaughter based on a judicial finding was harmless error.

Changes to penalties for heroin possession P.A. 92-0698

February
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 62
Effective July 19, 2002, amendments to the Illinois Controlled Substances Act provide that the illegal manufacture.

Legislation creates offense of sexual conduct or sexual contact with animal and increases potential sentence for defendants who commit criminal offense of aggravated criminal sexual assault with dangerous weapon P.A. 92-0721

February
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 62
On July 25, 2002, Gov. George H. Ryan signed into law House Bill 4926, which amends the Criminal Code of 1961 to do two separate things.

Multiple-murder sentencing statute violates proportionate penalties clause of Illinois Constitution when juvenile defendant convicted of two counts of first-degree murder based on accountability

February
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 62
On November 21, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial court and concluded that, as applied to this juvenile defendant, the multiple-murder sentencing statute violated the proportionate penalties clause in article I, §11 of the Illinois Constitution.

When issuing dispositional order for indefinite time period, trial court must consider whether minor will be detained for period greater than maximum sentence an adult would receive for committing same offense

November
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 584
On July 10, 2002, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, modified the dispositional order entered by the Circuit Court of Winnebago County to reflect that the minor respondent was committed to the Department of Corrections (DOC) for an indeterminate period not to exceed five years.

In a murder case, when the age of the victim is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the trial judge may consider aggravating factors in determining an appropriate sentence without violating Apprendi

August
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 402
On June 6, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the defendant's extended-term sentence imposed by the trial court pursuant to section 5-8-2(a)(1) of the Unified Code of Corrections, 730 ILCS 5/5-8-2(a)(1) (1994).

A criminal defendant’s guilty plea at trial waives all Apprendi-based sentencing challenges on appeal

July
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 344
On April 18, 2002, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the appellate court and affirmed the defendant's extended-term sentence.

A First Response to Apprendi: 2001 Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Law Survey

By James H. Reddy
May
2002
Article
Page 254
The justices addressed a few issues raised by the U.S. Supreme Court's Apprendi ruling, but many remain.

Legislation turns a misdemeanor battery into a felony aggravated battery when committed in or near a domestic violence shelter P.A. 92-516

March
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 120
In January, Gov. Ryan signed into law Senate Bill 175, which amended the Criminal Code of 1961 by making a misdemeanor offense of battery a felony offense of aggravated battery when the battery occurs in a building or other structure used to provide shelter or other services to domestic violence victims or the victims' dependent children.

Legislation eliminates sentencing limit for first-time DUI offenses and increases possible sentence for DUI convictions involving bodily harm P.A. 92-420

February
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 66
In August, legislation amended the Illinois Vehicle Code by eliminating the three-year limit on a prison sentence for a first-time DUI offense.

Legislation makes people with four or more DUI convictions ineligible for probation P.A. 92-183

February
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 66
In July, new legislation amended the Unified Code of Corrections making drivers who are convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense ineligible for probation.

Law provides guidelines to establish drug courts; P.A. 92-058

November
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 568
In some Illinois jurisdictions, nonviolent drug offenders have the option of participating in "drug court" rather than going to jail.

Apprendi and Extended-Term Sentencing: When Must the Jury Decide?

By David Stevens
October
2001
Article
Page 520
A review of the latest Illinois cases, with a focus on consecutive sentences and retroactive application.

91st General Assembly passes, governor signs “quick fix” to sentence-enhancing deficiencies; P.A. 91-0953

April
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 170
Citing a recent Supreme Court opinion, Illinois criminal defendants have successfully argued for a reduction in court-imposed sentences where the length of sentence was based on certain factors not proven during their trial.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
April
2001
Column
Page 166
Police can keep suspects out of their own homes; adoption by one spouse only; arbitration clauses and fee agreements; and more.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
February
2001
Column
Page 56
When does may mean must? When it comes to appealing interlocutory orders

Appeals from Plea Agreements: New Rules Clarify the Law

By James G. Fahey
November
2000
Article
Page 642
Effective November 1, the Illinois Supreme Court amended Rules 604 and 605 to clear up the confused law of plea-agreement appeals. Read all about it.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
November
2000
Column
Page 620
A lower burden of proof for consumer fraud? Arbitration-award rejection—can secretaries sign after all? and more.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
October
2000
Column
Page 560
The illusion of insurance exclusion; lease lacking, landlord loses; OSHA makes house calls; and more.

Lack of Remorse Versus Persistence of Innocence

By Hon. Larry S. Vandersnick
December
1998
Column
Page 692
Defendants can be sentenced more harshly when they refuse to express remorse -- even for crimes they insist they didn't commit.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie McGrath
December
1998
Column
Page 658
RICO and privacy and fraud (and family law), oh my!

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