In Cook County and Chicago, the checks-and-balance system is skewed. As a result, thousands of people sit in the county jail each year on charges that most likely wouldn't warrant incarceration even if they were found guilty.
Anthony Porter, the exonerated death row inmate whose jubilant release from prison was the catalyst for abolishing the death penalty in Illinois, is back in the news after living in relative obscurity for years.
They're angry that violence exists and that in this culture, it's acceptable to some degree. They understand that where you live can determine whether you have a better future than someone else."
"Who Committed Murder?" the editorial's headline blared. Its focus was on a double homicide of a young couple that led to the conviction and near-execution of Anthony Porter in 1998. Porter was freed after another man, Alstory Simon, confessed to the slayings on videotape.
"I'm looking for someone to explain justice," said Grace Slattery to a reporter. Slattery was lamenting the comparatively stiff prison sentence her son Patrick had received for his part in a patronage scandal under ex-Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Outside of legal circles, it is a little known fact that judges, like criminal defendants, have "rap sheets" -- cases involving past misconduct. A judge's "priors" include everything from reversals by higher courts to biases documented in court-reported transcripts.
Leaving her mother in charge of a son with cerebral palsy, Camilla Clifton headed to the Cook County criminal courthouse to support her nephew, on trial in 2009 for an attempted murder she believed he did not commit. Clifton would not see her family again for three days.
The plight of women in prostitution has always captured our attention. We've seen plenty of plays, movies and books written about and by women of the streets -- all usually through a dreamy vaseline lens. Now comes to Chicago Shadow Town, a play by Mary Bonnett.
The gang summit held this past weekend at Reverend James Meeks' House of Hope church was a failure. The right people didn't come. The Summit was patte...
Serbian immigrant Marko Pantelic drove across town to the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Sept. 6 to support a wrongfully accused friend and "to see how justice works in America." He should have stayed home.
For the first time in 35 years, Anthony McKinney was no longer in the custody of the State. Since 1978, McKinney had been imprisoned at the Dixon Correctional Center despite overwhelming evidence of his innocence. But death proved to be his only way out.
After spending most of his 59 years behind bars for a crime he almost certainly did not commit, Stanley Wrice could finally taste freedom. Everything was going his way -- or so it seemed.
Eric Caine had millions of reasons to smile, so why the glum expression when we met at our favorite eatery on July 25? The previous day, the Chicago City Council had approved a $10 million settlement of his lawsuit against Comdr. Jon Burge and the cops who tortured him into falsely confessing to a double murder in 1986.
A bill filed by Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is intensifying speculation that the 2011 personal and corporate income tax hikes could become permanent. T...
She did not say that it might not be safe for her son, with his Chicago manners and his only-child penchant for showing off, to be in Mississippi that summer. She did not say that he had to stay only where she could see him.
Forcing the powers-that-be to tell is the truth is an effective way to further blot the stain of the Burge era. That won't happen if Daley continues to play dodgeball. But, from what it appears at this point, that game is nearly over.