Chicago crime may be affected by the priorities of the people entrusted with prosecuting criminals.
If you’ve wondered about Chicago crime, you might look for clues at the values of the prosecutor’s office. Recently, all charges were dropped against a former gang member with a criminal record who beat an off-duty cop so badly that he has permanent brain damage and stole his gun. The repeat criminal told a story of being insulted with a racial slur, which apparently justified the assault. He said he took the gun for safety.
From the facts admitted by the ex-con he has committed serious crime. You don’t get a license to assault someone because of a racial slur.
On the basis of nothing more than what might be a cover story, he is being let go by State Attorney Kim Foxx’s office.
What her First Assistant State Attorney did in another case may not be as serious, but it again shows the Prosecutor siding with criminals.
The Chicago Tribune reports, “Judge, top prosecutor engage in shouting match over jailing of pregnant woman.”
A longtime Cook County judge and a top prosecutor repeatedly shouted at each other Monday at a tense hearing over whether a pregnant woman should have been jailed without bail for more than a month this summer.
“I have every right to hold her,” said Judge Nicholas Ford, a former prosecutor known for imposing tough sentences.
“You do not!” countered First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman, his voice raised.
At times, the argument grew so heated that the two talked over each other, making their comments nearly unintelligible, as Karen Padilla stood nearby with her 3-week-old daughter strapped on her chest in a carrier.
Padilla, 25, was arrested in June when Chicago police pulled her over for a traffic violation and found she had a warrant for her arrest dating to February 2016 for allegedly violating probation and then failing to show up for court.
At a hearing in June in the Leighton Criminal Court Building, Ford ordered Padilla, then more than seven months pregnant, held without bail until her next court date two months later. Padilla gave birth while in custody — a “horrible, stressing” experience, she said.
But the judge had already tried to give Padilla a way to stay out of jail for another serious crime.
Padilla’s case dates to October 2015, when she was arrested after her employer caught her pocketing cash from customers at the South Loop restaurant where she worked, according to police records.
Ford gave Padilla “second-chance probation,” meaning her case would be dismissed entirely after two years if she met certain terms. But she was arrested a short time later by suburban Northfield police for speeding and driving without a license, court records show. Prosecutors filed a petition for violation of probation, and when she didn’t show up at a February 2016 court date, Ford issued a no-bail warrant for her arrest.
She was nowhere to be found for more than 500 days, Ford said, until her arrest this June.
Padilla had a series of excuses, which the Chicago Tribune treats as Gospel Truth. How can crime ever be prevented if uncorroborated stories and the criminals own “hard luck” are treated as reasons to cancel their punishments?
To yell at a judge indicates that First Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Sussman has a real passion. He’d make a great defense attorney. But that’s not his job.
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