I am taking a break from grading exams to catch up with blogs, news and other stories.
About a month ago, I reported that the Illinois Appellate Court (5th Division) reversed a murder conviction because of ineffective assistance of counsel. See here.
Today, the First Division of the same court has announced a similar ruling finding that the defendant was denied effective assistance of counsel because of his attorney's failure to make a closing argument and his failure to object to the admission of certain irrelevant evidence (a gun).
The court determined that although under many circumstances the waiver of closing argument is a matter of trial strategy, it would be a rare case in which choosing not to make a closing argument in a jury trial would be sound trial strategy. "Given the evidence in this case," the court concluded, "this was not such a case."
The case is People v Wilson and it is available here.