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Late Motion Denies Career Criminal Sentencing Review

A panel of federal judges say an Illinois man must serve more than 21 years in jail after affirming calculations in a 2010 plea deal that won him a reduced sentence were properly made. James Hanson argued he shouldn’t be saddled with a career-offender enhancement, even as felony priors were omitted for the purpose of… Read More »

Vaping Concerns Spark Legislative Action

With consumers of electronic cigarettes nationwide expriencing growing rates of death and disease, several Springfield legislators are readying bills that would restrict the types of products offered for sale in shops around the state. Chief among the targets are flavored vapors, with lawmakers looking to amend tobacco laws to embrace vaping products and to restrict… Read More »

Legislative Backstop Planned for Janus Claims

Despite a string of court rulings against non-members seeking refunds for fair-share fees paid to labor unions, lawmakers in Springfield want to stem the tide in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling with a legal barrier to such claims. Sen. Donald Harmon is spearheading the drive even as the Illinois public employee for… Read More »

Lightfoot Urges Lighter Approach to Cannabis in Cars

With recreational marijuana use becoming legal in Illinois at the turn of the year, Chicago’s mayor wants cops to lighten up on drivers found with weed in their vehicles. Democrat Lori Lightfoot’s initiative would cut fines and train CPD officers on new methods for investigation and enforcement. She also wants the city to stop its… Read More »

Split Court Bites on Chokehold Appeal

An accused dealer will be retried after appellate court judges in the 3rd District found cops used “unpermitted force” when they pried a cache of crack cocaine from his mouth during a 2016 traffic stop. Cops admitted to grabbing Quennell Augusta by the throat after they pulled him over in Galesburg for failing to signal —… Read More »

Court Rejects Class Action Claim in Janus Appeal

The same appellate court panel that denied the Illinois state employee damages after he won a Supreme Court case over fair-share fees says that a group of teachers seeking similar reimbursements under the banner of restitution also can’t collect. Judges in the 7th Circuit are following more than a dozen courts around the country in… Read More »

Accepting Responsibility Earns Sentence Reduction

A federal judge must revisit the sentence given a convicted felon, who won favor with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for taking the rap on a weapons charge. Arthur Robinson didn’t contest that cops found a pistol on his lap when they came upon him asleep at the wheel at an East St. Louis stoplight in… Read More »

Federal Appeals Court Rejects Fair-Share Refund

Despite persuading the US Supreme Court to overturn a decades-old decision on union representation for non-members, the Illinois state employee at the center of that free-speech case cannot recover fees paid to an AFL-CIO local. According to judges in the Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, Mark Janus failed to prove that the state acted… Read More »

Probation Officers Needed to Cope with Bail Reform

So says Cook County’s top judge, who wants to add 70 positions next year in order to reduce the burden on the circuit court system that must monitor alleged criminals before they go to trial. Chief Judge Timothy Evans intends to devote additional funds to oversight in 2020, provided county supervisors approve his proposed $265… Read More »

Do Crooked Politicians Deserve Longer Jail Sentences?

A state representative thinks so, calling for five years to be added on to felony minimums in corruption convictions involving elected officials. Rep. David McSweeney says his bill would work to deter corrupt practices that cost taxpayers in the Land of Lincoln. It comes amid a wave of investigations by federal authorities into alleged malfeasance… Read More »