Overcriminalizing the Land of Lincoln: Criminal-law Trends in Illinois and the Threat to Liberty and Commerce

The Chicago Lawyers Chapter
Start : Tuesday, June 18, 2013 06:00 PM
End : Tuesday, June 18, 2013 08:00 PM

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University Club of Chicago
76 East Monroe Street
Chicago, IL


Keynote Address:

  • Judge Joseph E. Birkett, Appellate Judge, Illinois’s Second District Appellate Court

Panel Discussion:

  • Stephen Baker, Legislative Liaison, Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender
  • Christopher Hage, Criminal Defense Attorney, Private Practice
  • Erika Pfleger, Assistant Director, Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Law School
  • Moderator: Paul Larkin, Senior Legal Research Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, Heritage Foundation

A national trend extending criminal sanctions to what were conventionally matters left to civil justice or professional norms is increasingly being described as “overcriminalization.” Although criminal penalties can be effective, critics of the trend, on both the left and right, express concern that criminal codes afford prosecutors broad discretion in enforcement initiatives while making it increasingly difficult for Americans to comply in good faith. Additionally, concern has emerged that valuable state resources necessary to protect state residents from the most serious crimes may be redirected to enforce new laws at odds with traditional common law principles.

This forum will explore the extent of such “overcriminalization” in Illinois and how it might best be addressed. We are fortunate to feature such a distinguished group of speakers to explore and help understand overcriminalization trends in the state. Keynoting the event will be Judge Joseph E. Birkett, an appellate judge on Illinois’s Second District Appellate Court.


Register here

Registration details:

6:00 p.m. - Reception
6:30 p.m. - Keynote Address
7:00 p.m. - Panel Discussion
8:30 p.m. - Adjourn