3 challenges and opportunities for the new Cook County public defender

A fair and equitable justice system depends on the public defenders whose job it is to represent those people who cannot afford a lawyer. Public defense work is civil rights work. It is the public defender who raises questions about interrogation methods, unlawful police stops, and excessive bail. It is also racial justice work. Nowhere is racial injustice more apparent than in the impact our criminal laws have had on people of color, particularly Black people.

A gallows that was erected by pro-Trump protesters outside the United States Capitol building.

Terrorists, real and imagined

As attorney Jeffrey Urdangen watched the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack, he thought of the 2007 terrorism case against a former client named Olutosin Oduwole, who was an aspiring rapper in southern Illinois when prosecutors alleged his lyrics were terrorist threats.