Is Comparisons Between Defendants In Different Criminal Cases Allowed ?

In People v. Bien, 277 Ill. App. 3d 744, 753-4, 661 N.E.2d 511, 518, 214 Ill. Dec. 657 (1996) the court noted the "supreme court's declaration in similar contexts that comparisons between defendants in different cases are proper, if at all, only when the circumstances of the two defendants are substantially identical." Bien, 277 Ill. App. 3d at 754. In People v. Lewis, 38 Ill. App. 3d 995, 349 N.E.2d 528 (1976), the defendant was convicted of an attempted murder for shooting a man in the back as he was lying on the ground after a fight with the defendant. As a result of the shooting, the victim was paralyzed. The defendant in Lewis was only sentenced to 6 to 18 years in prison. However, the State is able to cite several cases where courts imposed sentences of 30 years for attempted murder.