Eyewitness Identification – Watershed Decision Identifies Fallibility of Eyewitness Identifications

People of the State of Illinois v. Eduardo Lerma, No. 118496. Editor’s Note –  This is an Illinois Supreme Court Opinion. The issue is whether, in light of the specific facts and circumstances of this case, the circuit court of Cook County abused its discretion when it denied defendant’s motion to allow expert testimony concerning the reliability of eyewitness identifications. For the reasons that follow, we hold that it did. The evidence of defendant’s guilt consists solely of two eyewitness …
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Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, Eyewitness Identification, News, Press Releases

U.S.S.G. Section 3C1.1 Obstruction of Justice – 7th Circuit Brief Filed

PRESS RELEASE (Chicago).  On December 9, 2015 Chicago Federal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro filed a brief in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of his client Charles Thomas. US v. Charles Thomas, 15-1142.  In sum, Mr. Thomas states that the district court erred in applying the United States Sentencing Guidelines Section 3C1.1 Obstruction of Justice enhancement.  Specifically, Mr. Thomas states that he should not have received a higher sentence for having co-defendant Domingo Blount testify at his …
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Chicago Police Officer’s Firing Leads to NOT GUILTY

PRESS RELEASE (Chicago).  On December 4, 2015, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro won a trial in a Bridgeview court room.  Before trial, the Cook County State’s Attorneys’ Office was forced to admit that a key Chicago Police Officer witness was fired because the officer was convicted of a crime!  Despite this incredible change of circumstances, the Cook County State’s Attorneys’ Office presented the testimony of one Chicago Police Officer to try and convict Mr. Petro’s client .    On cross-examination of this officer, …
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Illegal Traffic Stop by CPD Leads to Dismissal of Charges

PRESS RELEASE (Chicago).  On December 15, 2015,  Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro won a Fourth Amendment Motion to Suppress Evidence in a Chicago courtroom.  At the hearing, Mr. Petro proved that the Chicago Police illegally stopped and search his clients vehicle.   At the hearing, a passenger in the vehicle testified that there was no reason to stop and search his cousin’s car.  On cross examination of the Chicago Police Officer, Mr. Petro was able to prove that the officer’s reason for the stop was not …
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Michael J. Petro Argues in Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

PRESS RELEASE (Chicago) – On November 18, 2015, Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro will argue in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  US v. Acasio Sanchez, 15-1356.  In his brief, Mr. Petro argues that the district court improperly sentenced Mr. Sanchez by applying the “stash house” enhancement in the United States Sentencing Guidelines.  This error as a matter of law requires a new sentencing hearing for Mr. Sanchez. You can here his argument here:  Acasio Sanchez Oral Argument

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Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro Successfully Suppresses Evidence

On November 21, 2015, Chicago criminal defense attorney Michael J. Petro successfully suppressed the admission of a gun in a Chicago courtroom.  Mr. Petro presented one witness and cross examined a ten year veteran Chicago Police Officer.  Mr. Petro expects this will lead to the dismissal of all eight criminal charges by the Cook County State’s Attorneys’ Office.  Mr. Petro’s trial skills and keen knowledge of Fourth Amendment search and seizure were critical in persuading the Chicago court to suppress the evidence. BY:  …
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Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, News, Press Releases

Michael J. Petro argues in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on November 17, 2015

PRESS RELEASE (Chicago) – On November 18, 2015, Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Michael J. Petro will argue in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  US v. Acasio Sanchez, 15-1356.  In his brief, Mr. Petro argues that the district court improperly sentenced Mr. Sanchez by applying the “stash house” enhancement in the United States Sentencing Guidelines.  This error as a matter of law requires a new sentencing hearing for Mr. Sanchez.

Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, News, Press Releases

How to make the Federal Speedy Trial Clock Start Ticking

U.S. v. Richarson, No. 14-1901 In this case, due to a federal detainer the defendant was indicted on a felony charge of being in possession of both firearms and illegal possession of a submachine gun following receiving time served on state charges. United States v. Richardson, 780 F.3d 812, 814 (2015). The defendant motioned to dismiss on speedy trial grounds and was denied by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, then the defendant pled guilty …
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Medical Marijuana in Illinois: Qualifying Conditions

The following  have been approved as qualifying conditions under Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Law: Alzheimer’s disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Arnold Chiari malformation Cachexia/wasting syndrome Cancer Causalgia Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy Complex regional pain syndrome type 2 Crohn’s Disease Dystonia Fibromyalgia Fibrous dysplasia Glaucoma Hepatitis C HIV/AIDS Hydrocephalus Hydromyelia Interstitial Cystitis Lupus Multiple Sclerosis Muscular Dystrophy Myasthenia Gravis Myoclonus Nail patella syndrome Neurofibromatosis Parkinson’s disease Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Rheumatoid Arthritis Sjogren’s syndrome Spinal cord disease Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) Syringomyelia Tarlov …
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Drug Conspiracy: Buyer/Seller Arrangement Alone is NOT Enough

US v. Herberto Pulgar,  No. 14-3503 . Drug-distribution conspiracies hold a unique position in our legal sufficiency jurisprudence. In these special cases, we will overturn a conviction when the plausibility of a mere buyer-seller arrangement is the same as the plausibility of a drug-distribution conspiracy. See United States v. Johnson, 592 F.3d 749, 755 (7th Cir. 2010)

Posted in 7th Circuit Criminal Law Alert, News, Press Releases