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 Allowed?"

“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

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to death penalty issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to death penalty issues.
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’s 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
Quoted in:
  1. Should the Death Penalty Be Used for Retribution?
  2. Should Victims' Opinions Matter When Considering the Death Penalty?