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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

Red Flag Flies in Gun Law Challenge

A law that allows the state of Illinois to confiscate the firearms of licensed gun owners remains in place after a judge in federal court dismissed a challenge to the statute on Constitutional grounds. DeKalb county resident Charles Gudbrandsen sought to have the so-called Red Flag law that lets cops and others petition courts for emergency… Read More »

Fourth Time Lucky for Malicious Prosecution?

A Rockland man exonerated for a 1995 murder conviction is hoping so after appellate judges heard a fourth round of arguments over whether his suit against cops in Normal can move ahead this week. Attorneys for Alan Beaman claim that three now-retired officers should be held to account for mishandling the investigation into the death… Read More »

Legislators Aim at Extending Overdose Immunity

With Illinois averaging high rates of death from opioid abuse, state lawmakers want to extend immunity to those with criminal records who alert first responders when an overdose occurs. Sponsored by West Side Democrat La Shawn Ford, a bill that confers protections under the state’s 2012 Good Samaritan law to parolees and those on supervised release is… Read More »

Inmate Deaths Demand More Scrutiny

So say campaigners who want the state Department of Corrections to do a better job of documenting the demise of prisoners who perish behind bars. Prompted by a spate of deaths at the Menard Correctional Center in September 2018, a public records probe showed that the department couldn’t identify the cause of around half of… Read More »

Court Clarifies Sentencing Rules in Cook County Appeal

The stiffer penalty applies when judges consider enhancements to the sentences they hand out in criminal convictions, according to First District Appellate Court judges, who reduced the jail time given a Cook County man for a 2011 shooting. While it did not reverse the consecutive sentences for attempted murder in the case against Alvis Holley,… Read More »

Heresay Ruled Admissible in Cook County Conviction

An unsolicited remark made to a police officer can be used as evidence at trial, according to the First District Appellate Court, which last month stayed a Cook County murder conviction based in part on that evidence. The three-member panel concurred that the state had met its burden of proof in relating a statement Terell… Read More »

A Clean Slate for Cannabis Offenders in Cook County

Among the many with a Chicago pot bust? If so, your name could be cleared when Illinois grants permission for recreational marijuana use in January. Under a plan put forward by State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, records in Cook County will be wiped clean of hundreds of thousands of petty convictions when it becomes legal to light… Read More »

Smoking Restricted on Illinois Roads

Drivers in Illinois are being forced to curb their smoking habit with children in the car or to face a fine if they’re caught lighting up. A new law makes it illegal to smoke in the presence of minors when travelling the state’s roadways. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation last week that will cover passengers,… Read More »

Graffiti Inadmissible in Belleville Murder Trial

Writing on the wall carries no weight with the Illinois 5th District Appellate Court, according to a ruling issued last week that treats graffiti found in a holding cell as inadmissible in a Belleville murder trial. Prosecutors sought to present the daubing as a de facto admission of guilt in the case of Samuel Johnson,… Read More »

Modesty No Match for Seventh Circuit

Having seen a panel of judges in the 7th Circuit uphold the right of prison officials to conduct strip searches, interfaith agencies in Washington D.C., are requesting an en banc review of the ruling. An amicus brief filed last week with the federal court, which is headquartered in Chicago and encompasses Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, contends… Read More »