Our office has been doing federal criminal defense throughout the Central District of Illinois for over 40 years. We initially started in the early 1970s through military work also just private counsel. Also, there was at the time, it still is in existence, what is known as the Criminal Justice Act. That is sometimes if a person is indigent the court will request that we represent the individual because the Public Defender’s Office has a conflict or for some reason and cannot represent an individual.
Over that 40-year period of time we’ve seen tremendous changes in the law. Virtually, everything has changed including rules of evidence, procedures, sentencing criterion, things of that nature have really changed. You would not know a trial today through the entire sequence compared to 40 years ago.
Some things remain the same. We still have a jury trial, we have a judge, we have a prosecutor being the US Attorney’s Office and you have a defense attorney and the defendant themselves in front of the jury of 12. Those things have been good for 200 years and they’ve definitely been good for the last 40 years in the Central District of Illinois.