Illinois Post-Conviction Blog

Illinois Post-Conviction Blog is owned and operated by attorney Nate Nieman, a post-conviction and appellate lawyer in Rock Island, IL. The IPCB was created as a resource for criminal defense lawyers and clients seeking to keep abreast of the quickly developing body of law concerning criminal collateral attacks in Illinois state courts. The IPCB is specifically focused on providing timely reporting and analysis of recent decisions involving Illinois’ Post-Conviction Hearing Act, §2-1401 petitions, state habeas corpus and mandamus actions, and the like.

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The appellant in People v. Allen, 2020 IL App (3d) 180317, appealed the decision of the trial court dismissing Allen’s petition for relief from judgment, arguing on appeal that the circuit court denied him his right to due process by granting the State’s motion to dismiss without notifying or giving Allen an opportunity to respond. The Third District ultimately vacated the circuit court’s order granting the State’s motion to dismiss and remanded for further proceedings. John Allen Jr. was convicted of two counts of aggravated battery and sentenced to two concurrent terms of 22 years imprisonment. Id. at ¶…
The appellant in People v. House, 2020 IL App (3d) 170655, appealed the decision of the trial court dismissing his post-conviction petition at the second stage of post-conviction proceedings, arguing on appeal that the circuit court erred by denying the petition because House had made a substantial showing of actual innocence. The Appellate Court of Illinois Third District ultimately reversed the decision of the Circuit Court of Peoria County and remanded for further proceedings. Jumar House was charged with and convicted of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.…
UPDATE: The Illinois Supreme Court granted the defendant’s petition for leave to appeal in this case on May 27, 2020. I have not read the PLA, but I anticipate that the question of law the Court will be resolving is whether a new defense theory based on a change in the law can be considered “newly discovered” evidence of actual innocence. Interesting question. We will have to see what the Court does with that. Could have significant implications for other cases. Illinois Post-Conviction Blog The appellant in People v. Taliani, 2020 IL App (3rd) 170546, appealed the decision of…
The appellant in People v. Dunn, 2019 IL App (1st) 150198 appealed the trial court’s decision denying him leave to file a successive petition for relief under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act, arguing on appeal that he had standing under the Act to pursue his claim of actual innocence because of his ongoing requirement that he register as a sex offender. The Appellate Court affirmed. Maurice Dunn was originally charged with, and convicted of, rape and aggravated battery for an incident in July of 1979. Following a first trial which ended in a mistrial, Dunn was retried in September of 1980…
The appellant in People v. White, 2020 IL App (5th) 170345 appealed the trial court’s order denying his motion for leave to file a successive post-conviction petition, alleging that White made a sufficient showing of cause-and-prejudice in his motion. The Fifth District Appellate Court affirmed. Douglas White was originally charged and convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealment of a homicidal death related the murder of his grandmother and her friend. Id. at ¶ 4. White was sentenced to natural life imprisonment for each of the murder counts and five years’ imprisonment for the…
The appellant in People v. Abtahi, 2020 IL App (1st) 181631, appealed the trial court’s order dismissing his section 2-1401 petition, arguing on appeal that the circuit court erred by dismissing the petition without considering his argument on the merits. The First District Appellate Court affirmed. Farzad Abtahi was originally charged with manufacture or delivery of a substance containing heroin. Prior to trial, Abtahi and the State agreed that he would plead guilty to Class 1 possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in exchange for a recommendation of probation. Id. at ¶ 5. The trial court accepted…
The appellant in People v. Carrasquillo, 2020 IL App (1st) 180534 appealed the trial court’s order dismissing his section 2-1401 petition and motion for leave to file his successive post-conviction petition, which argued that the trial court was biased and that the defendant’s sentence was a de facto life sentence that violated the proportional penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution and eighth amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The First District affirmed the court’s dismissal of the section 2-1401 petition and reversed the court’s denial of Carrasquillo’s motion for leave to file his successive post-conviction petition. Ronnie Carrasquillo was charged with,…
The appellant in People v. Womack, 2020 IL App (3d) 170208 appealed the trial court’s dismissing his motion for leave to file successive post-conviction petition, which alleged that Womack satisfied the cause-and-prejudice test by demonstrating that the 20-year firearm enhancement added to his sentence violated the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution and under Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012). The Appellate Court of Illinois Third District ultimately reversed the decision of the circuit court and remanded for second-stage proceedings. Robert Womack was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, and aggravated unlawful…
The appellant in People v. Brown, 2020 IL App (1st) 170980 appealed the trial court’s order dismissing his pro se post-conviction petition claiming ineffective assistance of trial counsel. Brown argued on appeal that the circuit court erred by dismissing his petition where he made a substantial showing of a constitutional violation. The Appellate Court affirmed. Kiar Brown was originally charged and convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 55 years’ imprisonment. Id. at ¶ 1. At trial, the State presented testimony from multiple eyewitnesses, two of whom were minors, who had observed the commission of the crime, saw Brown conceal the…
The appellant in People v. Suggs, 2019 IL App (2d) 170632 appealed the trial court’s order summarily dismissing his pro se post-conviction petition, which argued that the prohibition against the imposition of de facto life sentences should be extended to cover “young adult offenders” who are no longer juveniles. The appellate court affirmed. Montago Suggs was originally charged with and convicted of first degree murder, attempted murder, and attempted armed robbery with a firearm. At sentencing, the trial court noted Suggs’ extensive juvenile and adult criminal histories, including multiple violations of probation, threats on Department of Corrections staff and…
In People v. Whalen, 2019 IL App (4th) 190171, the State appealed the trial court’s order granting defendant Donald Whalen’s 2-1401 petition vacating his murder conviction and ordering a new trial. The State argued that Whalen’s claims were time barred and should have been dismissed, the trial court’s decision was made on an incorrect standard set forth in People v. Davis, 2012 IL App (4th) 110305, and that the decision was manifestly erroneous. The Fourth District ultimately reversed the trial court’s order and remanded for further proceedings to determine whether a different result would be “probable” based on new…
The appellant in People v. White, 2019 IL App (4th) 160793, appealed the trial court’s order dismissing his pro se post-conviction petition, which alleged that trial counsel was ineffective and the trial court violated his right to be represented by counsel of his choice. Ultimately, the Appellate Court of Illinois Fourth District granted a motion filed by the OSAD to withdraw and affirmed the trial court’s judgment. Ronald White was originally charged and convicted of two counts unlawful delivery of heroin within 1000 feet of a church and sentenced to seven years in prison. Prior to trial, White informed…
The appellant in People v. Quickle, 2019 IL App (3d) 170281 appealed the trial court’s order denying his motion for leave to file a second successive postconviction petition. Ultimately, the appellate court affirmed the trial court. Donald Quickle was charged with several counts of murder and armed robbery. Initially, Quickle pled guilty to all counts, but later withdrew his plea. Quickle was then convicted at a jury trial of first degree murder and armed robbery and sentenced to consecutive prison terms of 60 years and 30 years, respectively. Id. at ¶ 7. On direct appeal, the appellate court affirmed…
The appellant in People v. Paige, 2019 IL App (1st) 161563 appealed the trial court’s order denying him leave to file a successive post-conviction petition, arguing that his 50-year prison sentence, imposed for a crime that the defendant committed when he was 16 years old, was unconstitutional. The appellate court reversed the decision of the circuit court and remanded for a new sentencing hearing. Melvin Paige was charged and convicted of first-degree murder, home invasion, and residential burglary when he was 16 years old. Id. at ¶ 5. Following the commission of these offenses, Paige went to the police station and…
The appellant in People v. Taliani, 2020 IL App (3rd) 170546, appealed the decision of the trial court denying his motion for leave to file a second successive post-conviction petition, arguing on appeal that he set forth a colorable claim of actual innocence based on the affirmative defense of involuntary intoxication. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. Steven Taliani was charged and convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. At his jury trial, Taliani relied on an insanity defense supported by forensic psychiatrist testimony that he had a major affective disorder, or depression with suicide ideation,…
The defendant in People v. Parada, 2019 IL App (1st) 161987, appealed the decision of the trial court dismissing his petition for relief under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act at the second stage of proceedings, arguing on appeal that he made a substantial showing that he was denied his right to effective assistance of appellate counsel where appellate counsel failed to file a docketing statement, a record on appeal, and an appellate brief, resulting in the dismissal of the appeal. Ultimately, because the appeal was pending while appellant was a fugitive, and the appellate court dismissed the appeal through no…