Representative Cases

    Notable Victories in Murder Cases

    People v. Anthony Johnson

    After Anthony Johnson had twice been convicted of first degree murder based on accountability and had served ten years in the penitentiary, Stephen L. Richards won a straight reversal of his conviction and he was exonerated and released. Anthony Johnson's case is listed on the national registry of exonerations. http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/browse.aspx

    People v. Encarnacion Torres

    After Encarnacion Torres was convicted of first degree murder, Stephen L. Richards won a reversal of his conviction in the Illinois Supreme Court based upon a violation of Encarnacion Torres's right to confront his accusers. On remand, the State dropped all charges and Encarnacion Torres was released.

    People v. Leroy McFadden

    In a jury trial, where he was represented by Stephen L. Richards, Leroy McFadden was acquitted of first degree murder and attempt armed robbery and released from custody.

    People v. Kenneth Baker

    On appeal, Stephen Richards won a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity for Kenneth Baker, who had been convicted of the first degree murders of his parents. The appeal also made new law on the issue of a suspect's right not to be further questioned by police after asking to speak with an attorney

    People v. Terry Griggs

    Stephen Richards successfully petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court to hear Terry Griggs' case after his conviction for murder, and won a new hearing for Terry Griggs based upon the failure of the police to allow him to see his attorney. At the new hearing, Terry Griggs' statement was suppressed and he was given a new trial, where the jury found him not guilty of murder and he was released from prison.

    People v. Richard Stack

    After his conviction for two murders, Stephen Richards won a new trial for Richard Stack based upon numerous instances of prosecutorial misconduct. The case also established new standards for the right not to have silence used against a suspect at trial.

    People v. Gregory Pecor

    On appeal, Stephen Richards won a hearing for Gregory Pecor from the Illinois Supreme Court on the issue of whether prosecutors had kept African-Americans off his jury.

    People v. Bernard Benjamin

    After Bernard Benjamin was charged with the first degree murder of one person and the attempt murder of another, Stephen Richards won a verdict of second degree murder. After trial, Stephen Richards uncovered an instance of prosecutorial misconduct and won a new trial. After the jury was hung at the second trial, 7-5 for acquittal, the defendant was offered and accepted a sentence which enabled him to be released after ten years in custody.

    Notable Victories in Death Penalty Cases

    People v. Juan Luna

    After four year and one half years of litigation and a six week trial, Juan Luna, accused of complicity in the murders of seven people during the "Brown's Chicken Massacre," was saved from the death penalty. Stephen Richards worked as the co-leader of the team which saved his life and was featured in the MSNBC documentary on the case.

    People v. William Buck

    After William Buck was convicted of the murder of a Rockford, Illinois police officer, Stephen Richards gave the argument at the eligibility hearing after which the jury found him to be not eligible for death or for natural life in prison.

    People v. Larry Mack

    Stephen Richards was co-counsel of the team which won the eligibility hearing at which Larry Mack, convicted of killing a bank security guard, was found not to be a candidate for the death penalty.

    People v. Darrell Smith

    Stephen Richards was co-counsel of the team which won Darrell Smith's freedom when he was found not guilty in a bench trial.

    Notable Jury Victories in Serious Felony Cases

    People v. Corey Campbell

    At a jury trial where Corey Campbell was positively identified by the alleged victim, Stephen L. Richards won Corey Campbell an acquittal for charges of attempt first degree murder and aggravated battery, Corey Campbell was released.

    People v. Jerry Partee

    After being caught with a gun and a Super-X quantity of drugs in his pocket, Stephen L. Richards won Jerry Partee an acquittal for Super-X charge of possession with intent to deliver cocaine and heroin.

    People v. Dorian Thompson

    In a jury trial where Dorian Thompson was charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics carrying a sentence of life in prison, Stephen L. Richards won a judgment of acquittal.

    People v. David Sanner

    After David Sanner was found in a car with the proceeds of two armed robbery/home invasions, Stephen Richards won a jury verdict of not guilty on all counts. David Sanner was released.

    People v. Joseph Watkins

    After Joseph Watkins was charged with the robbery of the wife of a disabled police veteran, Stephen Richards won a jury verdict of not guilty, and he was released.

    People v. Obie Warlick

    Stephen Richards won a jury verdict of not guilty for Obie Warlick on the charge of burglary, and he was released.

    Notable Appellate Victories

    People v. Arthur King

    Stephen Richards won a new trial for Arthur King on the charge of armed robbery, based upon the trial judge's threats to a potential defense witness which kept him from testifying.

    In re F.R.

    In a published opinion, Stephen Richards won the suppression of marijuana seized from the juvenile respondent, and his adjudication of delinquency was expunged.

    People v. Johnny Larry

    In a published opinion, Stephen Richards won a new trial based on prosecutorial misconduct.