Archive for July 2013

Concealed Carry Law In Illinois In The Wake Of The Zimmerman Trial In Florida

July 14, 2013

As of July 9, 2013, it is legal to carry a concealed weapon in Illinois since the 7th U.S.  Circuit Court of Appeals found Illinois law against concealed carry unconstitutional on January 9, 2013. There is one caveat, however.  You have to have a permit issued by the State Police. They won’t be set up for that for about 6 months.  Other requirements of the law are that an applicant must pass a background check, and take 16 hours of training. Accordingly, I don’t recommend carrying a concealed weapon until you have a permit and satisfied all the requirements of the law.

It has been reported that Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has said that he will arrest people anyway, regardless of the law. I’m not sure if this is actually true, but I put it here to warn those of you who would carry a concealed weapon to beware. Just because it’s legal to carry a concealed weapon doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested. Look at the Zimmerman case in Florida. It was legal for him to carry a gun, but political pressure brought about an arrest and indictment.

My advice to those of you who see the need to carry a concealed weapon is twofold: 1) never, never, never pull the weapon except in extreme circumstances to save your life, or the life of another; and 2) keep my phone number with you at all times, because there are politicians and community activists who will pressure law enforcement to make unlawful arrests. Besides, even if you use the weapon legally doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested. This is a state that is anti-gun, and everything will be done to discourage people from legally carrying a gun.

P.S. Pulling a gun and threatening someone is an aggravated assault, even if not discharged (shot). Just showing the gun and threatening someone is an aggravated assault. Both are felonies, and carry prison time.

What Does “Not Guilty” Really Mean?

July 14, 2013

The media constantly confuses the term “not guilty” with innocent. I’ve read many times in the media that a defendant plead “innocent.” Actually, not guilty means something other than innocent.

So what does not guilty really mean? It means the prosecution has not proved their case. It could be that the defendant was actually innocent. But, as we all know, lots of innocent people have been convicted of crimes. You have no further to look than the victims of the late Judge Thomas Maloney , who took bribes in murder cases. He had to cover for his criminality by convicting innocent people who did not pay him a bribe. Some of Maloney’s victims are still in prison awaiting a determination of their fate by a neutral judge  and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. In the last 15 years or so over 30 falsely accused and convicted persons have been released after years in prison, even though confessions were obtained from them, because of DNA evidence. Others have been released because an eyewitnesses who testified at trial came forth to testify that the police had strongly suggested the identity of a suspect when the witness was not sure. I had one such case where a victim of an armed robbery was shown a series of 6 pictures, commonly called a photo line-up. In the police report, the officer said the witness “tentatively” identified my client. That rung a bell with me because “tentatively” means not sure. So during cross-examination I took a chance and asked how many people  the witness identified before he identified my client. His answer was 4. So my client was the 5th person identified in the photo line-up out of 6. Each time the officer told him to pick again, until he chose the person the officer believed was the perpetrator. Then the victim was instructed to make a positive ID in court. Needless to say, my client was found not guilty. I digress. I guess that I just got caught up in story telling.

So, “not guilty” really means that the prosecution has not proved the accused guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As for reasonable doubt, please read an earlier post of mine.