After criticism, Ill. state rep drops bill limiting access to police records

The sponsor of an Illinois House of Representatives bill that would have drastically cut public access to police records—including in cases of officer misconduct—killed the bill Thursday after searing opposition from civil rights and open government advocates, including the ACLU and the state attorney general’s office. The bill was prompted by a request from the city of Chicago Heights.

A sign advertises Jeanne Marie Wrenn's campaign for Cook County Circuit Court in 2018.

Cook County judicial voters reject old habits, disfavor poorly rated candidates

It was not business-as-usual in the Cook County judicial primaries last week. Candidates with blemishes on their record were disfavored by voters. Judges already serving by appointment, or candidates who came out of the prosecutors’ office, found those perceived advantages did not sway voters. And Latinos seemed to gain strength at the expense of the traditional dominance of Irish names.

Cook County judicial candidate Laws “didn’t do the job” for one former client

After a defendant was convicted of charges she was part of a drug distribution ring, she cited widespread errors by her attorney, William Laws. The federal trial judge agreed that his poor performance had caused her to be unfairly sentenced. Years later, that case has come up again as Laws is a candidate for Cook County Circuit judge.