Rights of the Accused started out as teenage hardcore punk band with a humorous lyrical bend. The band was formed in 1982 in Chicago, IL, by Mike O'Connell (vocals), Anthony Illarde (drums), and Jay Yuenger (guitar). After a few different bassists moved in and out of the group, Steve Stepe joined in time to appear on the band's first 7", "Innocence", which was released on a label run by Steve and his brothers. Steve left the band in 1984 when he moved away from Chicago and was replaced by Tom Faulkener, who had previously sung for Negative Element (a band which featured Steve's brothers Barry and Chopper). In 1985, former Political Justice? guitarist Wes Kidd was added to the group. The band's first full-length, "Dillinger's Alley" was released in 1987. The record, which was produced by Big Black's Dave Riley, showed the band moving in a more hard rock/heavy metal direction. Jay Yuenger left the band shortly afterwards and former roadies Brian St. Clair and Herb Rosen replaced Illarde and Faulkner, respectively. The group's 2nd and final LP was released in 1991. They disbanded shortly afterwards.