Last updated on: 11/10/2008 | Author:

Richard A. Devine, JD Biography

State's Attorney for Cook County in Illinois
Pro to the question "Should the Death Penalty Be Legal?"

“Our position has been and remains that the death penalty is appropriate for the worst of the worst, people who have committed crimes so atrocious that they are no longer fit to be among us. Up until now, the people of Illinois, through their lawmakers, have said that death is appropriate for the most heinous crimes and criminals. We are now at a point where we should re-examine whether this remains our policy. We do not have the death penalty because prosecutors have said we should. It is the law of our state. If the law is changed to make life in prison without parole our most serious punishment, prosecutors statewide will, despite whatever personal feelings they may have, follow the law. The legislature must debate this most important issue and reach a decision to give us all a clear understanding of how the worst crimes will be punished.”

“Statement on the Death Penalty in Illinois,” State Attorney’s website, Apr. 30, 2003

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • State’s Attorney, Cook County, Illinois, 1996-present
  • Founder, Community Prosecutions Unit, DNA Review Unit, Domestic Violence Unit and Cold Case Unit
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Former Member, Greylord Commission to Reform Cook County
  • Partner, Shefsky, Froelich & Devine; Pope, John, Cahill Devine & Quinlan; and Foran, Wiss & Schultz, 1974-1980; 1983-1996
  • First Assistant, State‚Äôs Attorney Richard M. Daley, 1980-1983
  • Administrative Assistant , Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, 1969-1972
  • Associate, Squire Sanders & Dempsey, 1968-1969
  • Argued cases before the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the 7th Circuit US Court of Appeals, and the US Supreme Court
  • JD, Northwestern University School of Law, 1968
  • BA, History, Loyola University, 1966
  • Basketball player, Windy City Senior Basketball League