Monday, December 9, 2013

Justices Quinn and Schmidt Highlight Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Law Update

By Charlie Ingrassia

On December 2, 2013, the Association sponsored the "Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Law Update" brown bag luncheon. The event offered guests an opportunity to gain insight and hear colorful commentary on recent developments in criminal law from justices on the Illinois Appellate Court and experienced appellate practitioners.

Justice Daniel L. Schmidt answers a question during the Illinois Supreme Court Criminal Law Update brown bag luncheon held in Chicago.

ALA President Brad Elward welcomed guests and thanked Jenner & Block for hosting the event. President Elward then turned to ALA Secretary and Illinois Solicitor General Michael Scodro, who moderated the panel. Scodro introduced the distinguished panel, which included Justice Patrick J. Quinn of the Illinois Appellate Court, First District; Justice Daniel L. Schmidt of the Illinois Appellate Court, Third District, and Patricia Unsinn, Deputy Illinois Appellate Defender. 

The panel discussed a range of issues related to criminal law, including the second amendment, double jeopardy, mandatory life sentences for juveniles, searches and seizures under the fourth amendment, direct criminal contempt, and corpus delecti. The panel discussed developments related to double jeopardy in light of the United States Supreme Court's holding in Evans v. Michigan, 133 S. Ct. 1069 (2013), that a midtrial acquittal resulting from a trial court erroneously adding an additional statutory element resulted in jeopardy attaching. The panel also discussed People v. Martinez, 2013 IL 113475, where the court held that jeopardy did not attach when charges against the defendant were dismissed after a directed verdict finding where the State presented no evidence against the defendant to support a conviction.  With respect to direct criminal contempt, Justice Quinn discussed  People v. Geiger, 2012 IL 11318, where the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court's determination to uphold the imposition of a 20-year sentence on a defendant who refused to testify as a State's witness during a murder trial. Justice Schmidt, who was on the appellate court panel, graciously shared his thoughts while offering witty commentary resulting from his years serving as a police officer in Peoria. 

The ALA thanks the panel members for an insightful and detailed discussion.  

DISCLAIMER: The Appellate Lawyers Association does not provide legal services or legal advice. Discussions of legal principles and authority, including, but not limited to, constitutional provisions, statutes, legislative enactments, court rules, case law, and common-law doctrines are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.