In my humble,
but accurate opinion, here are the most important Illinois criminal law cases…
1) People v. Lerma (January) (use of eyewitness identification experts is widely accepted so trial judge’s who a have a problem with it have to get over it or risk reversal)
2) People v. Burgund (November) (error to deny defendant use of false confession expert to explain why he would confess to his bat-shit crazy wife and mother-in-law)
3) People v. Reyes (September) (functional de facto life sentences is a thing)
4) People v. Harris (December) (extremely culpable 18 year old defendant should have the benefits of all the new youthful offender sentencing rules)
5) People v. Busse (December) (a paltry crime for a paltry sum requires a paltry sentence, nonviolent sentencing emphasises the seriousness of the offense)
6) Utah v. Strieff (June) (SCOTUS case that says a valid warrant breaks the causal chain between an unlawful stop and the discovery of contraband)
7) Birchfield v. North Dakota (SCOTUS case that solidifies implied consent laws as constitutional – the state may criminalize the failure to not comply if it’s a blow but not for blood draws)
8) People v. Chambers (January) (Frank’s hearing is proper even when it’s a “John Doe” warrant and defendant is allowed to show the cop knew the snitch was full of crap)
9) People v. Valdez (September) (trial attorneys don’t have to be federal law mind readers, a general immigration admonishment will do unless you have an aggravated felony on your hand – then just tell your client he’s royally screwed)
10) People v. Theus (September) (police can stop you when the application of a traffic law is ambiguous even though the traffic law itself is perfectly unambiguous)
11) In re A.S. (October) (the 3rd stage Batson analysis is not just there for astics, the judge has to determine if the proffered race neutral reasons are B.S.)
12) People v. Geiler (July) (pro se guy sticks it to the man and fights his speeding ticket all the way to Illinois Supreme Court where he loses – now we have to demonstrate prejudice to win dismals when directory rules are broken by the police)
As you can see, there is no pattern for the release of important cases.
Cases come up when they come up.
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Samuel Partida, Jr.