Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Criminal Law

Fit to be tied: Unraveling the mysterious knots of fitness proceedings for criminal defendants By Timothy James Ting Criminal Justice, March 2018 This article explores the purpose of fitness proceedings in Illinois for criminal defendants and addresses contemporary issues that confront criminal defense attorneys pertaining to fitness proceedings.
New hope for young adult gun offenders: 2018 AGG UUW First Offender Program By Paul C. Meyers Criminal Justice, March 2018 Effective January 1, 2018, the First Time Weapon Offender Program not only provides for probation, but for the possibility of avoiding a conviction
So you want to be a criminal defense lawyer? Here’s what you should know! By Jessica Fangman Criminal Justice, March 2018 What can a new attorney do to get her foot in the door?
A call for written admonishments in criminal cases By Evan Bruno Bench and Bar, February 2018 The typical practice of orally delivering admonishments to a lay defendant ignores the glaring reality that virtually no human being—whether lay person or lawyer—is capable of retaining and recalling detailed information after hearing it only once. So why do the criminal courts indulge in this fantasy when such important rights are at stake?
The thousand-foot rule By E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. Bench and Bar, February 2018 The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued a seminal ruling examining the constitutionality of the Illinois statute addressing the crime of unlawful use of weapons within 1,000 feet of a public park.
Illinois Supreme Court confirms Peterson conviction By Mark K. Wykoff Criminal Justice, December 2017 The Supreme Court considered whether under separation of powers principles, the common-law doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing governed the admission of the hearsay statements.
New laws from the House By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, December 2017 Recent legislation of interest to criminal law practitioners.
Void ab initio doctrine does not retroactively invalidate probable cause based on a statute later held unconstitutional on federal constitutional grounds or on state constitutional grounds subject to the limited lockstep doctrine By James A. Shapiro Criminal Justice, December 2017 In People v. Holmes, the Illinois Supreme Court held that even though the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute was declared unconstitutional and therefore void ab initio, it was not so initio as to vitiate probable cause to arrest a defendant, even though the statute was declared unconstitutional after the arrest.
Plain and simple: The Illinois Supreme Court provides clarity for the burglary statute Criminal Justice, September 2017 The recent ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Bradford, has finally resolved the split of authority regarding the application of the burglary statute amongst the Illinois Appellate Districts.
Sentence reduction legislation leaves defendants in limbo: What’s a defendant to do? By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, September 2017 Practitioners must carefully determine if their client’s offense is affected by the changes in the legislation and if so, opt under the Statute on Statutes for their client to be sentenced to the reduced sentence.
Text messages + suicide = involuntary manslaughter? Maybe. By Linda J. Watson Criminal Justice, September 2017 This summer, the world has watched with perplexity the trial of Massachussetts’ Michelle Carter (now 20), who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on June 16, 2017 for encouraging a suicide. The verdict has brought forth many questions of just how far technology is pushing the edge of criminal culpability.
HOUSE BILLS—Criminal, Juvenile & Traffic By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, April 2017 Recent legislation affecting criminal law practitioners.
People v. Castleberry: The death of the void-sentence rule By Mark K. Wykoff and Julia K. Wykoff Criminal Justice, April 2017 People v. Castleberry has changed the landscape for purposes of raising and preserving issues in higher courts—all members of the criminal bar must be mindful of this new precedent and govern their advocacy accordingly.
SENATE BILLS—Criminal, Juvenile & Traffic By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, March 2017 Recent legislation of interest to criminal law practitioners.
A call for caution when limiting the public’s access to criminal courtrooms By Evan Bruno Bench and Bar, February 2017 This article examines the delicate—and often blurry—line between a judge’s permissible exclusion of persons from the courtroom and the unconstitutional denial of the defendant’s right to a public trial.
Being locked up does not mean being locked out from medical care for serious medical needs which ARE protected by the eighth amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment By Glenn R. Gaffney and Jolianne S. Walters Human Rights, December 2016 While cruel and unusual punishment can take many forms, the deliberate indifference to an inmate’s serious medical condition presents one of the more egregious and often-encountered violations of an inmate’s Eighth Amendment rights.
People v. Jones: Prejudicial remarks in a criminal trial By Edward Casmere and Eliberty Lopez Bench and Bar, December 2016 In People v. Jones, the First District reversed the convictions and ordered a new trial in front of a new judge based on prejudicial comments made by the State and the trial court.
Issues involving the Continuing Criminal Enterprise (CCE) Act: How the CCEA is a politically generated “quick fix” to the “War on Drugs” By Kenisha A. Day Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law, October 2016 While Congress’ concern about drug abuse in America is justified, a major concern with mandatory minimum statutes like the CCEA, is the probability that it is applied disproportionately. Arguably, the CCEA is applied almost exclusively to minority groups.
Criminal trials in Britain By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson, Jr.(Ret.) Bench and Bar, September 2016 Retired Judge Alfred Swanson recently observed a courtroom in Oxford, England and reports on how the proceedings differ from our own in Illinois.
Our evolving notion of what is an ‘impartial jury’ By Linda J. Watson Criminal Justice, September 2016 In a world where the populace is becoming increasingly skeptical of governance, more-diverse juries are perceived as being more fair and impartial than those that are not.
Case notes By Hon. Geraldine D’Souza, Claudia E. Castro, and Ronald L. Lewis Criminal Justice, August 2016 Three recent cases of interest to criminal law practitioners.
So you’ve been asked to take a prisoner litigation case By Stanley N. Wasser Federal Civil Practice, June 2016 Yes, as a member of the federal bar, you may be called upon to take on a prisoner litigation case. Here's what you need to know.
For Fourth Amendment purposes, the expectation of privacy extends outside the front door of an apartment into the adjacent common area By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson, Jr. (Ret.) Bench and Bar, April 2016 A discussion of the recent case of People v. Burns.
Case notes By Kim D. Chanbonpin, Mary Cole, and Harry E. Clem Criminal Justice, February 2016 Summaries of three recent cases: People v. Stapinski, In re H.L., and People v. Forrest.
HOUSE BILLS & RESOLUTIONS – Criminal, Juvenile & Traffic from the 99th General Assembly By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, December 2015 Recent legislation of interest to criminal law practitioners.
SENATE BILLS – Criminal, Juvenile & Traffic from the 99th General Assembly By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, November 2015 Recent Senate bills of interest to criminal law practitioners.
A cautionary tale in criminal cases By Hon. Celia G. Gamrath Bench and Bar, October 2015 The rulings in Seal and Ames demonstrate the Appellate Court is willing to reverse a conviction where the defendant is not given Rule 401(a) admonishments at the time he waives counsel.
HOUSE BILLS – Criminal, Juvenile & Traffic 98th General Assembly By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, June 2015 Recent House bills of interest to criminal law practitioners.
SENATE BILLS – Criminal, Juvenile & Traffic 98th General Assembly By Steve Baker Criminal Justice, April 2015 Recent Senate Bills of interest to criminal law practitioners.
Case notes By Steve Baker, Sandra L. Byrd, and Laura Horner Criminal Justice, January 2015 Recent cases of interest to criminal law practitioners.

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