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 10 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. https://www.law.umich.edu/special/
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 10 years in custody.
Notable Victories In Death Penalty Cases
People v. Juan Luna
After four and 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 that 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 that 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.