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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

Heck Rules in 7th Circuit Habeas Corpus Claim

An exonerated man’s pursuit of the Peoria cops who framed him for double murder will move forward after judges in federal appeals court said his civil rights claims for damages fell within a two-year filing window allowed him under  habeus corpus rules. Johnnie Lee Savory spent three decades behind bars after being convicted as 14-year-old for the 1977… Read More »

Judicial Missteps Mean Resentencing for Former Chicago Cop

A bent cop who saw bids for a reduction in jail time denied in district court will be resentenced thanks to a ruling that revives an appeal over changes that affect his case. Former Chicago Police Department Officer Alex Guerrero, who got almost 20 years for faking busts and turning the recoverd dope and guns… Read More »

No Class Actions for Undocumented CPD Detentions

A federal judge has ruled that those improperly detained at a notorious Chicago Police Department facility may not band together to sue the city. US District Judge Robert Dow said a pair of class actions involving the CPD’s Homan Square center failed to satisfy procedural guidelines around the certification of grouped complaints. Home to SWAT,… Read More »

Procedural Error Stays Ruling in Warrantless Search Appeal

Prosecutors seeking to pin weapons offenses on a Chicago man will have to content themselves with convictions for motor vehicle violations after judges in the 1st District Appellate Court ruled that cops failed to follow procedure when searching a car where a gun was found. Cops never asked Terrence Davis for proof of insurance after… Read More »

Era of Legal Weed Opens with Pot Pardons

More than 11,000 residents saw their records cleared of convictions for minor marijuana offenses as Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational use of the drug. Officials from the city and state gathered on New Year’s Day at a church on Chicago’s South Side to celebrate the end of what Gov. J.B. Pritzker called… Read More »

Split Ruling Highlights Conditions and Cautions in Terry Stops

A divided appeals panel cited common sense and Constitutional scholarship in upholding the conviction of a Chicago man for unlawful use of a weapon. Steven Spain was collared in a Terry Stop by cops responding to reports of gang activity on a Canaryville street in 2016 and given a year behind bars after a Cook… Read More »

Concurrent Jail Terms Deemed Reasonable on Appeal

A convicted drug offender must serve out a pair of sentences he received after repeatedly violating conditions of his release, according to a federal appeals panel that rejected his claim that additional jail time didn’t fit the offense he’d committed. After breaking parole following a concurrent stretch for a pair of convictions and being resentenced… Read More »

Do Convictions Require More Than Confessions?

They do in the 1st District Appellate Court, where a three-member panel of judges cited witness testimony and physical evidence as the reason for keeping a Chicago man behind bars for weapons offenses. Cops said Anthony Jones admitted owning the gun he’d tossed as they approached him in response to reports of a man matching… Read More »

No-Cash Bond Rules Need Clarification

So say judges in the 1st District Appellate Court, who ruled that procedural filings and judicial hearings still must take place when prosecutors seek to deny bail in light of changes made two years ago in Cook County to reduce bond for petty offenses. They used the case of a Chicago Public Schools teacher who… Read More »

Probable Cause Keys Reversal of Gun Rap

A Chicago man saw his conviction on a weapons charge vacated after an appeals panel agreed that cops had no reason to search his car or take him into custody. Judges in the 1st District Appellate Court said that simply seeing a gun in a car isn’t enough to merit seizure absent mitigating circumstances. James… Read More »