Petitioner’s motion for leave to file successive petition was properly denied where petitioner did not show that his involuntarily intoxication defense would have prevailed at trial

UPDATE: The Illinois Supreme Court granted the defendant’s petition for leave to appeal in this case on May 27, 2020. I have not read the PLA, but I anticipate that the question of law the Court will be resolving is whether a new defense theory based on a change in the law can be considered “newly discovered” evidence of actual innocence. Interesting question. We will have to see what the Court does with that. Could have significant implications for other cases.

Illinois Post-Conviction Blog

The appellant in People v. Taliani, 2020 IL App (3rd) 170546, appealed the decision of the trial court denying his motion for leave to file a second successive post-conviction petition, arguing on appeal that he set forth a colorable claim of actual innocence based on the affirmative defense of involuntary intoxication. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed.

Steven Taliani was charged and convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. At his jury trial, Taliani relied on an insanity defense supported by forensic psychiatrist testimony that he had a major affective disorder, or depression with suicide ideation, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Id. at ¶ 3-5. The psychiatrist further testified that appellant’s depression “severely impacted his ability to appreciate the criminality of his conduct” and that his victim–his girlfriend–had encouraged his homicidal and suicidal ideations Id. at ¶ 5.

The jury found Taliani guilty on both charges…

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