After a thorough investigation, I can tell you that the rumor that the 8th District judges gather before each conference, hold hands, and sing "Kumbaya" is unfounded. Sure, you wouldn't know it from last week's spate of decisions: seventeen of them, and not a single dissent. Not even a "concurring in judgment only," which is judicial shorthand for "I agree with the result, but everything you said except 'judgment affirmed' is just shy of coherence." Every single decision, unanimous, even the civil cases. You could almost feel the love in the room.
Well, not for criminal defendants. The dozen cases there feature the following "wins" for defendants: in State v. Knox, the court affirms Knox's 5th degree felony conviction for possession, but finds that the convictions for drug trafficking - which had merged anyway - were against the manifest weight of the evidence, and in State v. Brown, in which the court vacates one of Brown's two 5th degree felony theft convictions for insufficient evidence, leaving intact his 12-to-life sentence for rape.
Well, since you guys and gals are getting along so famously, might I respectfully suggest another opportunity for mingling? How about you do an en banc on consecutive sentencing? Because you really, really need to do something about that.