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Recent Developments in Illinois Regarding Confidential and Privileged Communications

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that statements made by a murder suspect to his brother were not protected from disclosure in court by the clergy-penitent privilege since the brother was not a recognized minister.

Illinois
State:
Key point. In order for statements to be protected by the "clergy—penitent" privilege, they must be made to a minister acting in the course of professional duties. Statements made to a person who is not minister will not be protected by the privilege-even if he or she is acting as a spiritual adviser.

* The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that statements made by a murder suspect to his brother were not protected from disclosure in court by the clergy—penitent privilege since the brother was not a recognized minister. A murderer (the defendant) shot and killed two persons. The defendant was convicted of capital murder and was sentenced to death. He appealed his conviction on the basis of his brother's testimony, which he claimed should never have been allowed because it was protected by the clergy—penitent privilege. The brother testified that three days following the ...

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