While Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to restore the death penalty is a terrible idea for Illinois, the silver lining is that the proposal would be a step in the right direction for 31 states that still employ the practice.
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.
Injustice Watch compiled a voting guide for the candidates running for judicial seats in Cook County because, despite the powerful role judges play in communities, little independent information is available to voters about the large pool of candidates.
Bar association evaluations are one of the few independent sources of information about Cook County judicial candidates, but at times they send voters mixed messages.
Longtime Cook County prosecutor Brian T. Sexton, now running for a seat on the bench, was chided by a U.S. District judge in 2016 for falsely testifying in a federal civil rights trial about past testimony of a gang expert. The judge said there was no such testimony, “none, zero, zip, nada.”
Chicago attorney and candidate for judge Jonathan Clark Green, who represents the city, has been involved in several police abuse lawsuits in which the city has been accused of hiding evidence.
Ubi O’Neal was belatedly added as a candidate in the March primary for Cook County judge. That makes him the fourth candidate in the field with a past discipline from the Illinois Supreme Court.
Most Illinois attorneys spend their career never being disciplined by the state. Three seeking judgeships in March primary are not so fortunate.
Cook County judicial candidate David Herrera blew up in an angry 2012 encounter with a female supervisor in the State’s Attorney’s Office. Women in the office say it was not the only time.
Nearly eight years after an unsuccessful judicial bid in Will County as a Republican, attorney Phillip Spiwak is trying again to win a seat on the bench – this time in Cook County, with a new party and new name. Voters: meet Shannon P. O’Malley, Democrat.