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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

Cops Must Show Cause For Surveillance Secrets

So say a panel of appellate court judges after ordering a new trial for a man deemed a habitual offender who claimed he was denied his Sixth Amendment rights after cops arrested him on gun charges at a North Lawndale liquor store. Brandon Barber invoked the Confrontation Clause in appealing the 2013 conviction, which resulted from… Read More »

Chicago Prosecutor Pushing Back on Investigative Alerts

A push back on appeals court judges in the First District by Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx could push the issue of investigate alerts to the Illinois Supreme Court. This after opinions on a petition to rehear a case decided earlier this year reflected the split among the same three-member over the Constitutionality of… Read More »

Dealer Rolls Dice and Comes Up with Life

A convicted felon who declined to take the advice of both his lawyer and the bench will serve a life sentence after the appeal of his 2018 drug rap fell short with judges in federal court. They ruled downstate dealer Dennis Jackson failed to prove his claim that the state’s decision not to produce the… Read More »

Appeals Court Frees Felon for Unlawful Chicago Cop Stop

A majority of judges in the state’s First District Appellate Court relied in part on a federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department’s well-earned reputation for aggressive tactics to reverse the arrest and subsequent conviction of a two-time loser sent to prison on a 2011 felony weapons charge. The majority also cited case law from… Read More »

Pritzker Pot Plan Offers Offenders Inside Track on Licenses

Those with cannabis convictions may be eligible for preferential treatment under a plan championed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker that aims to help communities most affected by the state’s war on drugs share the economic benefits of legal weed. Timed with the lifting of prohibition for recreational use that takes effect in January, the governor is… Read More »

Statutes of Limitations Exist for a Reason

So say judges in federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals who dismissed a petition by three Chicago men alleging they were improperly detained at the city’s notorious Homan Square cop shop and intimidated into silence by the officers who held them there. This despite a two-year wait for a written opinion on their initial complaint… Read More »

Ruling in Bail Appeal Seeks Precedent

Appellate judges who affirmed a decision made in Cook County Circuit Court to deny bail to a suspected armed robber conceded they did so absent much in the way of guidance and without complete records of court proceedings. In upholding Judge Thomas Byrne’s decision to keep Larenz Simmons behind bars as he awaits trial for… Read More »

Terry Appeal Shot Down on Burden of Proof

A suspected gang banger’s conviction on weapons charges stands after judges in the First District Appellate Court ruled that he failed to prove Chicago cops violated his Fourth Amendment rights during a 2016 arrest. Giovanni Salgado claimed that by going for the gun he had hidden beneath his shirt, Sgt. Ricky Rivera executed an unlawful… Read More »

Cop Sentence Sought in Batavia Break-In

A public defender in Kane County seeking leniency for his client wants a judge there to apply the same sentencing guidelines used for the Chicago cop convicted in the high-profile killing of teenager Laquan McDonald five years ago. Nicholas Feda requested that Christopher Turecek be sentenced on the lesser of the convictions he received in… Read More »

Counsel’s Failure Wins Convict New Trial

A Streamwood felon will get a new trial after appellate judges in the First District ruled that he’d been poorly represented and wrongly sentenced when tried in connection with a parole violation in 2014. James Utley claimed ownership of the drugs and guns found in his wife’s home when cops and parole officers went there… Read More »