Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Out and In (revisited)

Last week I was called by a young man about his case. I won't get into many details, but he was in a fight back in April. Actually, he was jumped by 3 guys. He removed a small pocket knife and stabbed an attacker that was lunging at him.

The next day he found out detectives were looking for him. A few hours later he went to the police station and turned himself in. He was arrested and charged with aggravated battery. The next morning his bond was set at $150,000 D (this means $15,000 or 10% would be needed for him to walk).

He was unable to bond out.

A few weeks later was his preliminary hearing. The victim came and testified. The judge found no probable cause. I was told his preliminary hearing attorney caught the victim lying several times. Good.

That night he was released from custody. He went home. He thought the case was over. Wrong.

The State ran the case through the grand jury. He was indicted. He got a letter from the State informing him he had court this morning. Failure to appear would result in a warrant for his arrest being issued.

I was hired to be there this morning and to take the case to trial. I told him that the State would have to set bond in his case. In other words as I told him, he could get locked up again.

And that's exactly what happened. Despite my passionate protestations, the judge set a high bond. Only the bond this time is $100,000 D ($10,000 to walk).

This is simply silly. If this case couldn't get through a preliminary hearing where the burden on the State is ankle-low, how do they expect to get a guilty conviction where the standard is ceiling high? And now, the case has been upgraded to Attempt First Degree Murder. Really?

[Note: you would have to understand how easily ridiculously weak cases get through preliminary to really understand how shocked I am.]

Do they think he won't fight? Do they think he will readily plead to the lower charge of aggravated battery and say "thank you"? Is this some sick human chess move to force this young man into prison?

Not on my watch. Message to State: You charged the case, now prove it.


1 comment:

  1. I am so sick of this city and the crooked bureaucracy of the cook county court systems. We have 10k inmates, over 800 prosecutors and a handful of fair judges. You would think things would get done fairly and efficiently, yet that is far from the truth and it is an injustice to everyone going through this process. Good luck w/your case I'd like to see how the state tries to disprove self defense.


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