If Illinois defendants never told jury of their own abuse, now a second chance

Illinois legislature passed an amendment in 2016 giving victims of domestic violence the chance to present the abuse as a basis for mitigating sentences for crimes they committed. After initial resistance by Cook County prosecutors, that office is now taking an expansive interpretation of whether victims of abuse that was relevant to their crimes can win relief.

Amid push to unseat some Cook County judges, others stand out as exceptional

The upcoming retention election for 59 Cook County circuit judges has drawn attention for the handful of judges on the ballot whose record is marred by controversial past actions. Less attention-getting are the judges on the ballot whose work has been exemplary. A complete guide to all the judges on the ballot can be found in the Injustice Watch guide. https://www.injusticewatch.org/interactives/judicial-guide/index.html

Life on the line: Prisoner seeks to prove wrongly convicted of Chicago murder

Carl Williams was convicted of being part of a group that committed a carjacking, rape, and murder. Three members of the group said he was involved, and he confessed. But the three other suspects, and Williams, have since said he had nothing to do with it, and that Chicago police coerced their statements. After years of delay, Carl Williams’s day in court approaches.

A sign advertises Jeanne Marie Wrenn's campaign for Cook County Circuit Court in 2018.

Cook County judicial voters reject old habits, disfavor poorly rated candidates

It was not business-as-usual in the Cook County judicial primaries last week. Candidates with blemishes on their record were disfavored by voters. Judges already serving by appointment, or candidates who came out of the prosecutors’ office, found those perceived advantages did not sway voters. And Latinos seemed to gain strength at the expense of the traditional dominance of Irish names.