Rare is the judge willing to stand before an audience and discuss his views on politically sensitive Supreme Court rulings, controversial bond reform measures and the harm done by long prison sentences. Fourth District Appellate Judge James Knecht talked about those topics and more on Tuesday night during a speech sponsored by the Central Illinois
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So far Calvin Lunny has created 22 blog entries.
Brandon P. Fleming is founder of the Harvard Debate Council Diversity Project, nationally recognized for its success in introducing minority students to the Ivy League institution’s debate team. He should not be where he is today. In his recently published memoir Miseducated, Fleming shares all the reasons for his unlikely success, beginning with an abusive
It was a long three weeks of trial and an even longer three days waiting for a jury to return its decision in the People of Wisconsin v Kyle Rittenhouse. On Friday afternoon, the waiting was over. The panel unanimously agreed that the 18-year-old is not guilty of murder in the shooting deaths of two
Bart McNeil was in prison a dozen years when a newspaper clipping that renewed hope for his exoneration arrived in the mail. With decades yet to go on his 100-year sentence in the murder of his 3-year-old daughter Christina, hope was a dim light at the end of a dark tunnel. From the day he
There are some developments in criminal cases that leave you shaking your head. Things that fall under the You Can't Make This Stuff Up category. This week, a judge ordered the state to turn over about 8,000 pages of police reports to lawyers for Jamie Snow, who has been challenging his murder conviction since he
Soon Alan Beaman will mark 30 years since he was wrongly accused of killing his girlfriend. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed his murder conviction in 2008 and later he was pardoned by the governor. The state awarded him a certificate of innocence. But Beaman has never had his day in court to ask a jury
Should children who commit serious crimes, including murder and sexual assaults, be sent to prison for life without the chance of future parole? State courts have struggled with this issue for decades, with each jurisdiction crafting a set of guidelines that reflect the views of the local community and current state law. The U.S. Supreme
Defense lawyer Curtis Lovelace has a special bond with his clients during the nerve-racking moments that precede the delivery of a verdict. “I’ve been in that seat and I’ve been in that jail. I know what it’s like to sit and wait for a verdict,” Lovelace told me recently in a phone call on his
During my years as a newspaper reporter, I wrote countless stories about crime and the people accused of committing those offenses. While some misdeeds were severe and ended with a senseless death, others involved a brief lapse in judgement. People accepted their punishment and moved on. But the internet has changed how stories are circulated,
The list of first responders who are literally the first in line to help others during this pandemic includes medical personnel, police, paramedics and caregivers at all levels of every facility. On another branch of the first responder tree are the chaplains who walk the hallways of hospitals and nursing homes, giving their time and