Division in the Illinois Appellate Court: What is the Appropriate Standard of Review for Alleged Prosecutorial Misconduct During Closing Argument?

2018Northern Illinois University Law Review

The Illinois Appellate Court is divided over the appropriate standard of review for evaluating alleged prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument.2 Currently, the First and Third Divisions of the First District have applied an abuse of discretion standard while the Third and Fourth Districts and the Fifth Division of the First District have applied de novo review. This article evaluates the origin and effect of this division and ultimately concludes that de novo is the proper standard of review under current Illinois law.

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Ryan T. Harding is an associate practicing in the Litigation Department of Lewis Rice. Ryan advises clients on their complex litigation matters, and he provides day-to-day counsel to help businesses navigate legal and regulatory compliance issues.