Understanding Non-Affirmative Criminal Defenses (National Overview)

(178 Ratings)

Produced on: October 07, 2016

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

This lecture describes non-affirmative criminal defenses in the national context. Topics include: (1) the constitutional right to present a defense, (2) “SODDIT,” or “Some Other Dude Did It,” (3) Alibi, and (4) Defects in the State’s Proof.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Review the major differences between jurisdictions as to issues such as burdens of proof, alibi evidence, and defects in the state’s proof
  2. Understand the practical issues and pitfalls of presenting non-affirmative defenses, including strategy, tactics, instructions, and typical evidentiary issues


Stephen Richards

Law Office of Stephen L. Richards

Areas of Practice

• Murder -- Homicide -- Death Penalty Cases

• Serious Felonies

• Drug / Weapons Cases

• Appeals -- Post-Convictions

• Sentencing -- Mitigation

• Civil Rights/1983

• Legal Education

• Legal Ethics

Litigation Percentage

• 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

• Certified Lead Counsel, Capital Litigation Trial Bar, Illinois Supreme Court, 2001

Bar Admissions

• Illinois, 1985

• U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2008


• Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York

  o J.D. - 1983

  o Honors: Order of Barristers, Moot Court

• University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

  o B.A.

  o Honors: With Honors 

  o Major: History

Published Works

• Reasonable Doubt Redux, 34 John Marshall L. Rev. 495, 2001

• The Admissibility of Expert Testimony, American Bar Association, 2003

Representative Cases

• People v. Terry Griggs, 152 Ill.2d 1, 604 N.E.2d 257 (Ill. S. Ct. 1992)

• People v. Arthur King, 154 Ill.2d 217, 608 N.E.2d 877 (Ill. S. Ct. 1993)


• New Ideas for Jury Selection, Illinois Public Defender Association, 2007

• Capital Jury Selection, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal, 2007

Honors and Awards

• Kutak-Dodds Award, Defender Prize, National Legal Aid and Defender Association, 2003

Professional Associations and Memberships

• Illinois Public Defender Association, President, 2006 - 2008

• Illinois Public Defender Association, Board Member, 2000 - Present

Past Employment Positions

• Office of the State Appellate Defender, Deputy Defender, 2000 - 2008

• Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Assistant Public Defender, 1989 - 2000


Jonathan C.

He's one of your best. Sign him up for a couple more.

Justin A.

This presentation was excellent.

Pat C.

This speaker is excellent. Great examples given during his lecture too.

Kathleen B.

Very interesting presentation!!

Jerry L G.


Joshua R.

Very good

william a.


Brenda Ann D.

Seemed to be especially good by being based on instructor's personal trial experience combined with case references.

Marilyn G.

very informative

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$ 59 Criminal Law, Litigation, and Public Interest Law In Stock


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