Fundamental Fairness over Finality: People v. Reed and Freestanding Innocence Claims for Guilty-Plea Defendants in Illinois

In this Note, Clinton Small analyzes People v. Reed, in which the Illinois Supreme Court established a new form of relief for defendants who have pled guilty to a crime. Under Reed, Illinois defendants may raise freestanding claims of actual innocence if they produce new, material, and noncumulative evidence which clearly and convincingly demonstrates that …
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Rectifying Broken Treaties: McGirt v. Oklahoma, a Step Toward Natural Resource Sovereignty

In this Note, Thomas Siwula analyzes the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, where the Court ruled that Congress had never divested the Muscogee Creek Nation’s reservation in eastern Oklahoma of its independent status. Siwula examines how the Court moved away from a historical analysis and toward a textual analysis of reservation divestment. …
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Morally Wrong, Constitutionally Vague: The Improper Conviction of Michelle Carter

In this Note, Madison Heckel analyzes Michelle Carter’s conviction of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging and commanding her boyfriend to kill himself. Heckel argues that the Massachusetts Appellate Court ignored the full extent of the fair warning requirements and incorrectly determined that there was appropriate notice that Carter’s conduct could result in criminal prosecution. Heckel further …
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