One of the most fundamental principals of the U.S. Constitution allows an individual the right to confront witnesses against him or her at trial. The Federal Rules of Evidence and Illinois case law allow hearsay exception for excited utterances from out-of-court witnesses for criminal offenses without an opportunity for cross-examination. On March 8, 2004 in Crawford v. Washington, the U.S. Supreme Court likely makes this practice unconstitutional.
I. WHETHER SPONTANEOUS DE-CLARATIONS AND EXCITED UT-TERANCES ABSENT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CROSS-EXAMINATION VIOLATE THE CONFRONTATION CLAUSE OF THE SIXTH AMENDMENT.
The Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right of criminal defendants to be confronted by their accuser. Specifically, the Clause reads: "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him". U.S. Const. Amend. VI.
Derived from historical records, it has long been settled that inherent in the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment are certain hearsay exceptions. In keeping with this history, the Federal Rules of Evidence delineate certain hearsay exceptions. Fed. R. Evid. 803, 804, 807. In 1972, an amendment to the Federal Rules of Evidence allowed certain hearsay exceptions to be entered even though the declarant is available to testify, but is not produced at trial. Fed. R. Evid. 803-Advisory Committee Notes. The Committee explained its rationale as follows:
"[t]he present rule proceeds upon the theory that under appropriate circumstances a hearsay statement may possess circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness sufficient to justify nonproduction of the declarant in person at the trial even though he may be available. The theory finds vast support in the many exceptions to the hearsay rule developed by the common law in which unavailability of the declarant is not a relevant factor. The present rule is a synthesis of them, with revision where modern developments and conditions are believed to make that course appropriate." Fed. R. Evid. 803-Advisory Committee Notes.
"Present sense impression" and "[e]xcited utterance" are two of the enumerated hearsay exceptions wherein the availability of the declarant is immaterial. Fed. R. Evid. 803.
Only a few hearsay exceptions can be admitted upon a finding of unavailability of the declarant to testify. Fed. R. Evid. 804. Specifically, the hearsay exceptions allowed where the declarant is unavailable are: 1) former testimony; 2) statement under belief of impending death; 3) statement against interest; 4) statement of personal or family history; 5) forfeiture by wrongdoing and 6) residual exceptions. Fed. R. Evid. 804 and 807.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on June 25, 1980 in the case of The State of Ohio v. Herschel Roberts1, In Roberts, the court declared that the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment conferring the accused with the right to confront the witness against him does not bar admission of an unavailable witness’s statement against a defendant, provided the statement bears "adequate ‘indicia of reliability.’" Id. at 56, 2534, citing Mancusi v. Stubbs2. According to the court in Roberts, reliability "can be inferred without more in a case where the evidence falls within a firmly rooted hearsay exception" or upon a showing of "particularized guarantees of trustworthiness." Id. at 56, 2534, citing Mancusi v. Stubbs3.
According the U.S. Supreme Court in White v. Illinois4 "Roberts stands for the proposition that unavailability analysis is a necessary part of the Confrontation Clause inquiry only when the challenged out-of-court statements were made in the course of a prior judicial proceeding." However, despite this narrow applicability of the Robert’s decision, "[c]ourts have invoked Roberts to admit other sorts of plainly testimonial statements despite the absence of any opportunity to cross-examine." Crawford v. Washington5. Many states—including Illinois—have enacted statutes or allowed, on a common law basis, spontaneous declarations and excited utterances to be admissible as hearsay exceptions upon a judicial finding of reliability and absent cross-examination. Illinois does not provide for hearsay exceptions in a specific enacted hearsay exceptions statute. Rather, hearsay exceptions are permitted according to common law rule in comport with the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Illinois case law indicates excited utterances and spontaneous declarations were initially admitted under the concept or rule of res gestae. See John A. Prickett v. Madison County6. Charles L. Boyd v. West Chicago Street Railroad Company7, Chicago & St. Louis Railway Company v. City of Chicago8, J. M. Lyon v. Revilo Oliver et al.9, Johnson v. Swords Co. et al.10, Ranz v. Yaschenko et al.11, Carroll v. Guffey12.
The Latin translation of res gestae literally means "‘things done’ or ‘things transacted.’" Black’s Law Dictionary, 7th Ed. 1999 citing John H. Wigmore, A Students’ Textbook of the Law of Evidence 279 (1935). According to Black’s, "[i]n evidence law, words and statements about the res gestae are usually admissible under a hearsay exception (such as present sense impression or excited utterance)." Id. However, since the Federal Rules of Evidence and state rules have been fashioned after res gestae, the use of res gestae is now out of place. Id. citing Fed. R. Evid. 803(1), (2).
As suggested in Black’s, Illinois case law indicates a digression from the theory of res gestae to better-articulated exceptions to the hearsay rule. In Carroll v. Guffey, the court stated with regard to "the so-called res gestae rule", "[a]lthough text writers and commentators (for example, 6 Wigmore on Evidence, § 1767, 3rd Ed.) have criticized the phrase res gestae, nevertheless it signifies a principle of the law of evidence in this State as well as other states which is quite well settled. More correctly, the rule is that where a remark is made spontaneously and concurrently with an affray, a collision or the like, it carries with it inherently a degree of credibility and will be admissible in evidence because of its spontaneous nature. This exception to the hearsay rule finds its justification in the consideration that in the stress of nervous excitement the reflective faculties do not have an opportunity to function and the utterance is the unreflecting and sincere expression of the speaker’s actual impressions and belief." 20 Ill.App.2d 470, 475, 156 N.E.2d 267, 270 (2nd Dist. 1959).
After approximately 1960, res gestae appears less often in case law, with "exception to the hearsay rule" seen instead. See People vs. Poland13, People v. Damen14, Thomas v. Goodman15, People v. Smith16, People v. Enoch17, White v. Illinois18, People v. Lesure19, People v. Georgakapoulos20. On a continual and consistent basis, Illinois courts have found excited utterances and spontaneous declarations admissible, even where the defendant is not afforded an opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. On March 8, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Crawford v. Washington21. In Crawford, the defendant stabbed a man who allegedly tried to rape his wife. The defendant claimed he stabbed the man in self defense during a confrontation regarding the alleged rape. At the defendant’s trial, defendant’s wife was found to be an unavailable witness due to Washington State’s marital privilege, which bars a spouse from testifying without the consent of the other spouse. The privilege, however, did not extend to out-of-court statements admissible under a hearsay exception. The State sought to introduce as evidence a tape-recorded statement made by the wife during a police interrogation. The trial court, relying on Roberts, found the statement reliable under the hearsay exception of "’particularized guarantees of trustworthiness’" Id. at 1355, citing Roberts. The statement was admitted as evidence against the defendant, without the defendant having cross-examined the witness. The trial court entered a guilty conviction, which the Washington Supreme Court up-held. A Writ of Certiorari was issued and the U.S. Supreme Court was presented with the issue of whether the procedure of allowing out-of-court testimony upon a reliability finding, without an opportunity for cross-examination, complied with the Sixth Amendment guarantee that the accused be confronted with the witnesses against him. Upon review, the court found its rationale in Roberts to be unfaithful "to the original meaning of the Confrontation Clause." Crawford at 1369. It further declared that Roberts "departs from historical principles" because "[i]t admits statements that do consist of ex parte testimony upon a mere reliability finding," Crawford at 1369, and held "where testimonial statements are at issue, the only indicium of reliability sufficient to satisfy constitutional demands is… confrontation." Id. at 1374.
Illinois courts have long entertained the same rationale as the lower courts in Crawford and for too long have departed from the historical principles of the U.S. Constitution. Id. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, "[t]he Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause provides that, ‘[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right… to be confronted with the witnesses against him.’ We have held that his bedrock procedural guarantee applies to both federal and state prosecutions." Crawford at 1359 citing Pointer v. Texas. Illinois’ deviation from the constitutional intent can be derived from recent court decisions and court decisions going back at least as early as 1961. In fact, it appears that Illinois courts have favored admittance of ex parte statements under the theory of res gestae much earlier than 1961, but cases founded on that theory are intentionally omitted from this discussion.
In Illinois v. Poland, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s entrance of an unavailable declarant’s statement pursuant to the excited utterance hearsay exception. The defendant was charged with murdering his wife. Prior to his wife’s murder, the defendant, his wife, their kids and defendant’s wife’s mother resided in a second-floor apartment. On the day defendant’s wife was murdered, defendant’s wife’s mother appeared in her housecoat and slippers at her neighbor’s door. When the neighbor opened the door, defendant’s wife’s mother stated to the neighbor that the defendant had shot her daughter, defendant’s wife. Id. at 179, 806. The prosecution was unable to locate defendant’s wife’s mother for testimony at trial. Defendant’s neighbor testified at trial and recited defendant’s wife’s mother’s statement to her. The trial court admitted defendant’s wife’s mother’s statement to the neighbor under the theory of res gestea. Upon review, the Illinois Supreme Court found defendant’s wife’s mother’s statement admissible under the excited utterance hearsay exception. The Defendant never cross-examined the witness (defendant’s wife’s mother) and was found guilty.
The findings of the Illinois Supreme Court in Poland are precisely the findings the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in Crawford. While the cases may not be on point from a factual basis, they are identical in their attempt to admit ex parte statements. The fact that the statement in Crawford was obtained during a police interrogation while in Poland the statement was an excited utterance admitted through a trial witness is irrelevant. The only relevant factor is that in both cases the defendants were never afforded an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses making the statements. And, as the U.S. Supreme Court stated in Crawford, the Sixth Amendment incorporates the common law hearsay limitations established at the time of its founding—unavailability and a prior opportunity to cross-examine. Supra at 1365.
In another case, Illinois courts again ruled in a manner inconsistent with the intent of the U.S. Constitution. In Illinois v. Smith, the trial court entered a statement made by an unavailable witness as a spontaneous declaration hearsay exception and the appellate court affirmed. The defendant was accused of murder and attempted murder pursuant to a residential burglary and the stabbing death of one of the residents. During the robbery, a male resident of the home struggled with the burglar in an attempt to subdue him. This male resident, in response to the scene, exclaimed "I can’t believe Greg Smith did it!" shortly after police arrived. Id. at 628. The male witness died prior to trial, but the court admitted the witness’ statement despite the defendant’s strong objection and without any formal exception ruling. Upon review, the appellate court declared the trial court properly admitted the testimony of the deceased witness as the statement qualified as a spontaneous declaration hearsay exception. Worth noting in this case—and further supporting the tribulations attributed to reliability findings and discussed in detail below—is the fact that the appellate court remanded the case back to the trial court for admittance of testimony from the defendant’s mother, wherein the deceased male declarant stated that defendant was not the perpetrator.
Similarly to the Poland and Crawford cases previously discussed, the courts in Smith admitted an ex parte testimonial statement as trial evidence. Again, as in the Poland and Crawford cases, the defendant was not afforded an opportunity to cross-examine the witness. The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that "the Framers would not have allowed admission of testimonial statements of a witness who did not appear at trial unless he was unavailable to testify and the defendant had had a prior opportunity for cross-examination." Crawford at 1365. According to the court, "the principal evil at which the Confrontation Clause was directed was the civil-law mode of criminal procedure, and particularly its use of ex parte examinations as evidence against the accused." Id. at 1363. Based on the above review of its recent decisions, Illinois appears to have adopted such a procedure.
One inherent problem created by the disposal of a defendant’s right to confront his accuser is the reliance on judicial discretion. Id. at 1370-73. The Sixth Amendment was intended to do the opposite—operate as a constraint on judicial discretion. Id. at 1373. The court reasoned that one problem with a determination of reliability is that "[r]eliability is an amorphous, if not entirely subjective, concept. There are countless factors bearing on whether a statement is reliable." Id. at 1371. The issue was illustrated in Crawford through the conflicting rationale in the decisions entered by lower courts across the nation. Id.
"[T]he Colorado Supreme Court held a statement more reliable because its inculpation of the defendant was ‘detailed’ … while the Fourth Circuit found a statement more reliable because the portion implicating another was ‘fleeting.’" Crawford at ___ citing People v. Farrell, 34 P.3d 401, 406-407 (Colo.2001) and United States v. Photogrammetric Data Servs., Inc., 259 F.3d 299, 245 (C.A.4 2001), respectively. Similarly, "[t]he Virginia Court of Appeals found a statement more reliable because the witness was in custody and charged with a crime (thus making the statement more obviously against her penal interest), see Nowlin v. Commonwealth, 40 Va.App. 327, 335-338, 579 S.E.2d 367, 371-372 (2003), while the Wisconsin Court of Appeals found a statement more reliable because the witness was not in custody and not a suspect, see State v. Bintz, 2002 WI." Id. at 1371.
Ironically, the U.S. Supreme Court found the process of determining the reliability of out-of-court testimonial statements too unreliable. However, this is not the main problem Roberts presents.
According to the court, "[t]he unpardonable vice of the Roberts test...is not its unpredictability, but its demonstrated capacity to admit core testimonial statements that the Confrontation Clause plainly meant to exclude." Id. at 1371. The court elaborated that:
"some of the courts that admit untested testimonial statements find reliability in the very factors that make the statements testimonial... That inculpating statements are given in a testimonial setting is not an antidote to the confrontation problem, but rather the trigger that makes the Clause’s demands most urgent. It is not enough to point out that most of the usual safeguards of the adversary process attend the statement, when the single safeguard missing is the one the Confrontation Clause demands." Id. at 1372.
The admittance as testimonial evidence of ex parte statements upon a reliability finding continues in Illinois courts. In 1990, an Illinois court admitted, as spontaneous declarations, a victim’s statements made to police as testimonial evidence against the defendant, even though the victim died from her injuries and the defendant had no opportunity for cross-examination. See Illinois v. House. Similarly, in 1996 another Illinois court allowed as testimonial evidence under the excited utterances hearsay exception a victim’s statements identifying the defendant as the perpetrator, where the victim died from his injuries and no opportunity for cross-examination by the defendant was possible. See Illinois v. Meras. In 1999, in the case of Ilinois v. Georgakapoulos29, once again statements made by the victim were admitted as testimonial evidence (spontaneous declarations) against the accused, even though the victim died from his injuries and defendant was unable to cross-examine.
In each of the cases cited above—Poland, Smith, House, Meras, and Georgakopolous—the defendants never cross-examined the declarants of the statements and the statements were admitted upon a judicial finding of reliability.
This procedure is clearly the practice the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional in Crawford. Supra.
A concrete indication that Illinois courts’ admission of spontaneous declarations and excited utterances absent cross-examination by the defendant are in opposition to the Supreme Court’s findings in Crawford is seen in the case of People v. White30, judgment affirmed by White v. Illinois31. In White, the defendant was charged, in part, with criminal sexual assault against a 4-year-old child victim. The four-year-old child victim did not testify at trial. The trial court permitted five witnesses, including the victim’s baby-sitter and mother, to testify at trial regarding statements made by the victim to them. The testimonies of the five witnesses were allowed under the spontaneous declarations hearsay exception. Defendant was convicted, in part, of criminal sexual assault.
The Illinois appellate court affirmed the trial court’s entrance of the five witnesses’ statements as spontaneous declaration hearsay exceptions. In reaching it’s decision, the appellate court discussed Roberts, Supra, U.S. v. Inadi32, and People v. Ingram33. The court rejected Roberts application to the present case, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Inadi that Roberts was to be narrowly applied to "’the introduction in evidence of the preliminary hearing testimony of a witness not produced at the defendant’s subsequent state criminal trial,’." Illinois v. White34, citing Inadi, Supra. The appellate court limited its discussion of Inadi to stating that "[i]n our judgment, the Supreme Court, in the language we quoted from Inadi, repeatedly repudiates this Roberts dicta." Instead, the Illinois appellate court chose to follow its findings in People v. Ingram, as "this court was presented with the same argument that is being made in the present case, i.e., that before a spontaneous declaration can be received into evidence, the confrontation clause normally requires a showing that the out-of-court declarant is unavailable." In Ingram, the Illinois appellate court ruled that only the criteria set forth for an excited utterance (People v. McNeal35), is required for admission of a spontaneous declaration and that requirements of unavailability are not applicable. Ingram at 260, 947, 1254.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted a Writ of Certiorari and decided White v. Illinois on January 15, 1992. Supra. In its decision, the Supreme Court considered "whether the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment requires that, before a trial court admits testimony under the "spontaneous declaration" and "medical examination" exceptions to the hearsay rule, the prosecution must either produce the declarant at trial or the trial court must find that the declarant is unavailable." White, 502 at 348-349. The Supreme Court agreed with the Illinois Appellate Court in finding that "such procedures are not constitutionally required." Id. at 349.
However, White is no longer suitable law. Although the U.S. Supreme court did not definitively decide whether or not White survives their recent Crawford decision, it implied that White does not. Crawford at 1370. In discussing their findings in White, the Supreme Court declared "our analysis in this case casts doubt on that holding." Id. at 1370.
Yet, Crawford does not address the same question posed in White, leaving to speculation the logic behind the court’s implication that White does not survive Crawford. A probable explanation for the Supreme Court’s implication is that White does not survive Crawford because the procedure upon which White is predicated as a whole—a reliability exception left to judicial discretion—has been found unconstitutional in Crawford. Specifically, the Supreme Court found:
"[w]here testimonial statements are involved, we do not think the Framers meant to leave the Sixth Amendment’s protection to the vagaries of the rules of evidence, much less to amorphous notions of ‘reliability’." Crawford at 1370.
Further discussing the Framers’ intent behind the Constitution, the court stated "[t]hey knew that judges, like other government officers, could not always be trusted to safeguard the rights of the people... They were loath to leave too much discretion in judicial hands." Crawford at 1373 citing Cf. U.S. Const., Amdt. 6 (criminal jury trial; Amdt. 7 (civil jury trial). To further clarify its standing in Crawford, the court, in Footnote 9, stated:
"[W]e reiterate that, when the declarant appears for cross-examination at trial, the Confrontation Clause places no constraints at all on the use of his prior testimonial statements… It is therefore irrelevant that the reliability of some out-of-court statements ‘’"cannot be replicated, even if the declarant testified to the same matters in court.""
Crawford at 1369 (citing Post. at 1377 (quoting United States v. Inadi36).
Finally, in an attempt to eliminate further outstanding ambiguity, the court in Crawford indicated "[w]hatever else the term [testimonial] covers, it applies at a minimum to prior testimony at a preliminary hearing, before a grand jury, or at a former trial; and to police interrogations." Id. at 1374. The court’s use of "[w]hatever else the term covers, it applies at a minimum" clearly indicates its intent to apply its findings on a broader scale, rather than limiting them to the narrow application of its enumerated types of testimonial evidence. Surely, the court was cautioning one against a narrow factual application of the Crawford findings; rather, the court was indicating Crawford stands for the explicit declaration against the use of un-tested ex parte testimony against criminal defendants. According to the court, "[d]ispensing with confrontation because testimony is obviously reliable is akin to dispensing with jury trial because a defendant is obviously guilty. This is not what the Sixth Amendment prescribed." Crawford at 1371.
Since, like the statements provided by police officers in Crawford, a judicial reliability determination exists for spontaneous declarations and excited utterances emanated from victims and bystanders witnessing startling events, these statements must not be allowed unless the defendant is afforded an opportunity to cross-examine the declarants. These declarations and utterances disregard the declarant’s misperceptions, prior biases and prejudices. Additionally, they fail to consider that the courts in determining reliability make "assumptions that cross-examination might well have undermined." Crawford at 1372. There is no adequate test to determine the reliability of these kinds of statements, other than confrontation. Id. at 1374.
In summary, Illinois court’s practice of admitting ex parte statements as spontaneous declarations and excited utterances upon a judicial reliability finding and absent cross-examination must cease post haste. All pending and future decisions should reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s declarations in Crawford—"[w]here testimonial statements are at issue, the only indicium of reliability sufficient to satisfy the constitutional demands is the one the Constitution actually prescribes: confrontation." Crawford at 1374.
As the U.S. Supreme Court so eloquently expressed, "[t]he Constitution proscribes a procedure for determining the reliability of testimony in criminal trials, and we, no less than the state courts, lack authority to replace it with one of our own devising." Crawford at 1373. As such, all use of spontaneous declarations and excited utterances absent an opportunity for cross-examination must be immediately declared unconstitutional and in violation of a defendant’s guaranteed Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him.
1 448 U.S. 56, 100 S.Ct. 2531, 65 L.Ed.2d 597 (1980)
2 408 U.S. 204, 92 S.Ct. 2308, 33 L.Ed.2d 293, Pp. 2537-2539
3 408 U.S. 204, 92 S.Ct. 2308, 33 L.Ed.2d 293, Pp. 2537-2539
4 502 U.S. 346, 354, 112 S.Ct. 736 (1992)
5 124 S.Ct. 1354, 1372, 2004 WL 413301 (2004).
6 14 Ill.App. 454 (4th Dist. 1883)
7 112 Ill.App. 50 (1st Dist. 1904)
8 144 Ill.App. 293 (2nd Dist. 1908)
9 227 Ill.App. 511 (2nd Dist. 1923)
10 286 Ill.App. 377, 3 N.E.2d 705 (2nd Dist. 1936)
11 329 Ill.App. 274, 67 N.E.2d 891 (1st Dist. 1946)
12 20 Ill.App.2d 470, 475 156 N.E.2d 267, 270 (2nd Dist. 1959)
13 22 Ill.2d 175, 174 N.E.2d 804 (1961)
14 28 Ill.2d 464, 193 N.E.2d 25 (1963)
15 52 Ill.App.3d 774, 8 Ill.Dec. 852, 365 N.E.2d 1314 (5th Dist. 1977)
16 127 Ill.App.3d 622, 83 Ill.Dec. 27, 469 N.E.2d 634 (1st Dist. 1984)
17 189 Ill.App.3d 535, 136 Ill.Dec. 905, 545 N.E.2d 429 (1989)
18 502 U.S. 346, 112 S.Ct. 736 (1991)
19 271 Ill.App.3d 679, 208 Ill.Dec. 201, 648 N.E.2d 1123 (1st Dist. 1995)
20 303 Ill.App.3d 1001, 237 Ill.Dec. 156, 708 N.E.2d 1196 (1st Dist. 1999)
21 124 S.Ct. 1354, 2004 WL 413301 (2004)
22 448 U.S. 56 at 66, 100 S.Ct. 2531, 65 L.Ed.2d 597
23 22 Ill.2d 175, 174 N.E.2d 804 (1961)
24 Ill.App.3d 622, 469 N.E.2d 634, 83 Ill.Dec. 27 (1st Dist. 1984), 127
25 22 Ill.2d 175, 174 N.E. 2d 804(1961)
26 127 ll.App.3d 622, 83 Ill.Dec.27, 469 N.E. 2d 634 (1st Dist. 1984)
27 141 Ill.2d 323, 152 Ill.Dec. 572, 566 N.E. 2d. 259 (1990)
28 284 Ill.App.3d. 157, 219 Ill.Dec. 579, 671 N.E. 2d 746 (1st Dist. 1996)
29303 Ill.App.3d 1001, 237 Ill.Dec. 156, 708 N.E.2d 1196 (1st Dist.1999)
30198 Ill.App.3d 641, 144 Ill.Dec. 722, 555 N.E.2d 1241 (1990)
31 502 U.S. 346, 112 S.Ct. 736, 116 L.Ed.2d 848, 60 USLW 4094, 33 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 881 (1992)
32 475 U.S. 387, 106 S.Ct. 1121, 89 L.Ed.2d 390 (1986)
33162 Ill.App.3d 257, 113 Ill.Dec. 945, 515 N.E.2d 1252 (1987)
34 198 Ill.App.3d at 657, 733, 1252
35 88 Ill.App.3d 20, 24-25, 43 Ill.Dec. 480, 482-83, 410 N.E.2d 480, 482-83 (1980)
36 475 U.S. 387, 395, 106 S.Ct. 1121, 89 L.Ed.2d 390 (1986))Z
Timothy P. Martin is a former felony prosecutor for the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office and a 1992 Graduate of the John Marshall Law School where he was an associate editor of the law Review and published in Brook v. state. 155 Ala. 78, 46 So. 491 (1908)He serves on the board of Judicial evaluations for the State of Illinois and is a member of the DuPage, Kane and Illinois Bar Association. Mr. Martin concentrates his practice in the areas of criminal and family law.