First District Appellate Court Upholds Murder Conviction Where Defense Was Barred From Presenting Evidence of Defendant’s Epileptic State at Time of Killing

In this case, the defendant shot and killed a Chicago police officer with his own firearm and also shot at other officers.

The defense proffered testimony that she had just suffered from an epileptic seizure and was suffering delusions through her post-ictal state. The trial court barred this evidence as an attempt to present the defense of diminished capacity, which is not allowed in the State of Illinois. The appellate court agreed that this evidence regarding epilepsy could not be used by the defense (outside of an insanity defense).

The appellate court also upheld the trial court’s denial of an involuntary manslaughter instruction because there was no evidence that the gun went off accidentally or during a struggle.

The case is People v. Robin Johnson, 2018 IL App (1st) 140725.

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