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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

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 »

Sheriff Liable for Unsanitary Conditions at Lake County Lockup

A federal appeals court has ruled that government officials in Lake County must face charges that they deprived detainees of their Constitutional right to due process when they cut off water for three days at a correctional facility in Waukegan. The three-member panel of judges upheld the decision by a judge in the US 7th… Read More »

Murder Charge for Teens in Accomplice’s Death

The Lake County State’s Attorney is charging five teens with murder when another of their number took a bullet in the head during a failed robbery in Chicago’s northern suburbs. A homeowner fired the shot that killed the 14-year-old on August 13th but Michael Nerheim says said the crime fits a statute that holds perps… Read More »

Bring Back the Death Penalty?

Illinois Rep. David McSweeney thinks reinstatement’s worth pursuing. Prompted by recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, the Barrington Hills Republican told reporters that he intends to sponsor a bill to restore capital punishment as a vehicle for curbing violent crime in the Windy City. Almost 50 Chicagoans were killed or injured by gunfire the weekend… Read More »