September 2015 Archives

Fatal overdoses and drug dealer liability

Drug overdoses are a serious problem in Illinois and around the country. Prosecutors are now using new strategies to combat these occurrences. After a fatal overdose, investigators may look at the victim's cellphone call logs and text messages to determine who was likely to supply the drugs. In some cases, this could lead to criminal charges for the dealer such as involuntary manslaughter.

More than 90 percent of criminal cases settled by plea agreement

Some Illinois residents are angered when they read about individuals who have caused fatal accidents receiving what appear to be extremely light sentences after entering into a plea agreement, but experts say that the criminal justice system would grind to a halt in a matter of days if every case went to trial. Plea bargains settle more than 90 percent of criminal cases in the United States, and the reason that they sometimes seem excessively lenient is because proving a criminal charge beyond reasonable doubt is difficult for prosecutors and defendants must be given a good reason to plead guilty.

Men coerced into murder confession receive 6-figure compensation

The story of two brothers who spent three decades wrongfully imprisoned highlights the importance of a criminal defense for an innocent person charged with a crime in Illinois. The brothers had originally been convicted of killing an 11-year-old girl. They served time on death row until the governor of North Carolina pardoned them in 2014 because of a lack of evidence. To compensate them for their suffering, each brother has been awarded $750,000 by the state.

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