Archive for the ‘Illinois Criminal Arrests’ Category
May 5th, 2014 at 12:15 pm
Is it right for a prosecutor to charge a witness who recants with perjury? As people from Illinois already know, there have been many many murder convictions obtained in Illinois through perjured or just plain mistaken testimony. So what happens if a witness comes forward and says “I lied 20 years ago when I identified the defendant as the murderer? Normally, the defendant is freed and the witness walks away with nothing but the guilt and shame as to what they had done. But what if a judge doesn;t believe the witness’ recanted statemewnts? Should a prosecutor then ‘pile on’ by charging that person with perjury? Won’t that cause a chilling effect on others who already are afraid to come forward?
According to the Sun-Times
“A who’s who of former judges and prosecutors have signed a letter expressing concerns about a perjury prosecution against a man who recanted his 1994 testimony in a murder trial.
The letter to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said the prosecution of Willie Johnson could discourage other people from recanting prior testimony.
Johnson, 42, was wounded in a West Side shooting that killed two friends in 1992. He identified the gunmen at trial.
But in 2011, he changed his story at a post-conviction hearing for Cedric Cal and Albert Kirkman, who are serving life sentences for the killings. Johnson told a judge he identified the wrong men in 1994, but the judge didn’t believe him and refused to reverse the convictions.
The state’s attorney’s office then charged Johnson with perjury. Johnson, who lives out of state, was freed after posting 10 percent of a $20,000 bond. His next hearing in the perjury case is scheduled for June 2.
Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the state’s attorney’s office, said the perjury case against Johnson is being “prosecuted in good faith.”
“The office pursues perjury in very limited circumstances and only when it is appropriate to do so,” Daly said. “We would never charge cases to deter truthful testimony. Lying under oath in an effort to falsely exculpate a convicted criminal should, however, be deterred.”
Johnson is a convicted felon who’s been in prison for drug possession and armed robbery.
He has sought to have the perjury charges dropped, claiming he was the subject of a “vindictive prosecution” and that the statute of limitations expired. But Judge Dennis Porter denied those requests, records show.
On April 24, a group of 23 distinguished attorneys sent Alvarez a letter saying: “We believe the prosecution of Mr. Johnson is contrary to the interests of justice.”
“Mr. Johnson’s conviction would chill future witness recantations, thereby depriving those who stand convicted of crimes they may not have committed of a fair opportunity to obtain post-conviction relief,” the letter said.
Among those who signed the letter were former U.S. attorneys Dan Webb and Jim Thompson, also a former governor; former Illinois Attorney General Tyrone Fahner; former Kane County State’s Attorney Gary Johnson; former federal appeals judge Abner Mikva; former U.S. District Judge George Leighton; former Illinois appeals judges Dom Rizzi and Warren Wolfson; former assistant U.S. attorney and noted author Scott Turow; and former assistant U.S. attorney Lori Lightfoot, who also ran the agency that investigates allegations of misconduct involving Chicago Police officers.
The former judges and prosecutors acknowledged Johnson must have been lying either at the 1994 trial or in the 2011 post-conviction hearing. But they said perjury charges should only be pursued when prosecutors believe they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the recantation was false.
“In other words, we believe that no perjury prosecution should be based simply on the fact that a recantation materially contradicts a witness’s previous testimony,” the letter said.
Johnson’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, said he believes witnesses unfavorable to the prosecution are charged with perjury far more often than “pro-state” witnesses — such as police officers whose testimony is deemed false in court.
“I understand why the law is written the way it is in theory, but the state’s attorney has to be careful about how it is applied,” said Greenberg, who is representing Johnson free of charge.
It is time to put the vindictive prosecutors on trial for their actions, in my opinion.
April 10th, 2014 at 5:18 pm
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a DuPage Drug arrest or drug trafficking, consider hiring Retired DuPage Felony Judge Perry Thompson. These type of cases occur in Du Page County on a frequent basis, and Judge Thompson’s past experience presiding over these cases can assist. Here is a typical case as reported in the Daily Herald:
DuPage County prosecutors Wednesday announced the first three arrests of what they are calling a “larger, ongoing investigation into drug trafficking” throughout the county.
Three men, whom drug agents have been secretly tracking and buying drugs from for months, were arrested late Tuesday during separate traffic stops in undisclosed locations.
Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Laude said during Wednesday bond hearings for the men that agents have been intercepting phone calls, tracking cellular phone calls and using surveillance to monitor meetings among the men.
During the course of 20 meetings, prosecutors said, undercover agents purchased more than 800 grams of cocaine from the men and recovered more than $1 million in cash.
Guillermo Trejo, 32, of Cicero and Jose Paz Trejo, 44, of Stone Park each are being held on $750,000 bond. Bond for Cesar Alberto Trejo, 21, also of Stone Park, was set at $500,000.
Cesar Trejo is charged with two counts of delivery of a firearm before the 72-hour application waiting period, one count of criminal drug conspiracy to manufacture or deliver more than 15 and less than 100 grams of cocaine, and one count of criminal drug conspiracy to manufacture or deliver more than 100 but less than 400 grams of cocaine.
Guillermo Trejo is charged with the sale of a firearm before the waiting period and one count of criminal drug conspiracy to manufacture or deliver more than 15 and less than 100 grams of cocaine.
The man accused of being the ringleader and the investigation’s target, Jose Paz Trejo, is charged with two gun counts, five counts of criminal drug conspiracy to manufacture or deliver more than 15 and less than 100 grams and two counts of criminal drug conspiracy to manufacture or deliver more than 100 but less than 400 grams of cocaine.
The are due in court at 9 a.m. on April 22.
April 9th, 2014 at 1:21 pm
As reported on Digital Journal:
Naperville DUI Lawyer Wins Illinois Supreme Court Case
Naperville, IL (PRWEB) April 09, 2014
Naperville DUI Lawyer Donald J. Ramsell recently won an Illinois Supreme Court case for his client. Ramsell presented his oral arguments for the case People v. Deforest Clark (Case No. 15776) held before the Illinois Supreme Court back in January. The case questioned the constitutionality of eavesdropping laws in Illinois. In the opinion reached, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the state’s criminal eavesdropping statute is unconstitutional.
The panel of Judges decided that the statute violated the First Amendment because it applied to all conversations, including those conversations that cannot be considered private such as loud exchanges on a private street, a political debate on a college campus or the public communications between law enforcement and citizens. The Illinois Eavesdropping Act, which bans the audio recording of conversations without the consent of all parties, has been scrutinized for years as Illinois legislative efforts to revise the law have continuously fallen short.
Illinois DUI lawyer Donald Ramsell along with attorney Nicole Sartori represented the defendant Deforest Clark in relation to the two felony counts charged against him for recording conversations with an opposition attorney during child support hearing 11CF464 held in Kane County Court.
“Obviously, my client is extremely pleased with the outcome. We felt that it was the correct decision. My client was simply trying to keep a record of a court proceeding that he was handling pro se, there was never any nefarious intent on his part, ” explains criminal defense attorney Donald Ramsell.
Criminal attorney Donald Ramsell is a managing partner at Ramsell & Associates, LLC. Ramsell focuses his practice on DUI’s, criminal law, drug crimes, felonies, misdemeanors and traffic violations. In 2013, Ramsell was selected for membership to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers organization. The organization recognizes attorneys for their knowledge, skill and success held by only the elite attorneys in the United States. He was also named a 2014 Illinois Super Lawyer by Chicago Magazine, which marks his 8th Super Lawyer designation.
Ramsell & Associates, LLC has been featured in the media throughout the country including on ABC’s 20/20, CNN, CBS, NBC, FOX, COURT –TV and Hannity and Colmes. The Illinois criminal law firm has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and on various national and local radio shows.
Ramsell & Associates, LLC is located in Wheaton, IL. The firm has defended over 13,000 clients since its establishment in 1986. If you are facing criminal charges and would like to work with an experienced criminal attorney call 1-800-DIAL-DUI or fill out the online contact form for a free case review.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Naperville-DUI/Lawyer-Donald-Ramsell/prweb11747852.htm
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1840965#ixzz2yPleIFxz