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I have served as a Court appointed Special Prosecutor.  This letter is completely on point as to the Smollett debacle:

 

The Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association serves as the voice for nearly 1,000 front line prosecutors across the State who work tirelessly towards the pursuit of justice.  The events of the past few days regarding the Cook County State’s Attorney’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case is not condoned by the IPBA, nor is it representative of the honest ethical work prosecutors provide to the citizens of the State of Illinois on a daily basis.

The manner in which this case was dismissed was abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State.  Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges alike do not recognize the arrangement Mr. Smollett received.  Even more problematic, the State’s Attorney and her representatives have fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal. 

The public has the right to know the truth, and we set out to do that here. 

When an elected State’s Attorney recuses herself from a prosecution, Illinois law provides that the court shall appoint a special prosecutor.  See 55 ILCS 5/3-9008(a-15).  Typically, the special prosecutor is a neighboring State’s Attorney, the Attorney General, or the State Appellate Prosecutor.  Here, the State’s Attorney kept the case within her office and thus never actually recused herself as a matter of law.

Additionally, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office falsely informed the public that the uncontested sealing of the criminal court case was “mandatory” under Illinois law.  This statement is not accurate.  To the extent the case was even eligible for an immediate seal, that action was discretionary, not mandatory, and only upon the proper filing of a petition to seal.  See 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(g)(2).  For seals not subject to Section 5.2(g)(2), the process employed in this case by the State’s Attorney effectively denied law enforcement agencies of legally required Notice (See 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(4)) and the legal opportunity to object to the sealing of the file (See 20 ILCS 2630/5.2(d)(5)).  The State’s Attorney not only declined to fight the sealing of this case in court, but then provided false information to the public regarding it.

The appearance of impropriety here is compounded by the fact that this case was not on the regularly scheduled court call, the public had no reasonable notice or opportunity to view these proceedings, and the dismissal was done abruptly at what has been called an “emergency” hearing.  To date, the nature of the purported emergency has not been publicly disclosed.  The sealing of a court case immediately following a hearing where there was no reasonable notice or opportunity for the public to attend is a matter of grave public concern and undermines the very foundation of our public court system. 

Lastly, the State’s Attorney has claimed this arrangement is “available to all defendants” and “not a new or unusual practice.”  There has even been an implication it was done in accordance with a statutory diversion program.  These statements are plainly misleading and inaccurate.  This action was highly unusual, not a statutory diversion program, and not in accordance with well accepted practices of State’s Attorney initiated diversionary programs.  The IPBA supports diversion programs, and recognizes the many benefits they provide to the community, the defendant and to the prosecuting agency.  Central to any diversion program, however, is that the defendant must accept responsibility.  To be clear here, this simply was not a deferred prosecution. 

Prosecutors must be held to the highest standard of legal ethics in the pursuit of justice.  The actions of the Cook County State’s Attorney have fallen woefully short of this expectation.  Through the repeated misleading and deceptive statements to the public on Illinois law and circumstances surrounding the Smollett dismissal, the State’s Attorney has failed in her most fundamental ethical obligations to the public.  The IPBA condemns these actions.

This irregular arrangement was an affront to prosecutors across the State, the Chicago Police Department, victims of hate crimes, and the people of the City of Chicago and Cook County.  We strongly encourage our members and the public to review the National District Attorneys Associations statement on prosecutorial best practices in high profile cases.

Best Regards,

Lee Roupas
President,
Illinois Prosecutor’s Bar Association

 

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx better have an able criminal defense attorney on retainer.  I suspect she may be needing his services soon.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Obama did his very best to turn this country into a banana republic. His minions are continuing his evil works. None of this comes as any surprise. He is responsible for the greatest assault on the rule of law this country has ever encountered. As simply one example, he was overturned unanimously by a divided Supreme Court more than any other president. We need a special prosecutor to get to the heart of his role in the phony Trump-Russia collusion charge. We need to once again become a nation of laws, and not men.

  2. What about the judge? Is he or she part of this corrupt bargain, or just stupid enough to be eligible for appointment to the FISA court?

  3. I know we should never be surprised by the continual success of dirty Cook County politicians, but it does seem Foxx has effectively ended her career over this.

  4. A case of Foxx trots for the soon unemployed State’s Attorney.

    If this was Obama’s administration he would of advanced her career, not frown on it. Oh..the bad old days.

  5. As tough as times are today for conservatives and/or all of those who love this country, we should thank God that we live in an age where very, VERY little is hidden from public view anymore a few years ago a Smollett situation would have been swept under the rug with no one the wiser. The swamp things would have continued on as they have for years. Just look how fast information about this case comes to us now. One thing about corruption in high places: they never think they will get caught. They believe themselves to important.

  6. Seen elsewhere. “The innocent suffer (are victimized) when the guilty go unpunished.”

    Not sure if this is true. Foxx received large money contributions form George Soros’ hate America organization. Soros and other socialist America-destroying outfits are financing and organizing the illegal invasions attacking from south of the border.

  7. Donald R McClarey wrote, “I can imagine a Judge assuming that the State has absolute power to nolle prosse a case.”

    If the public prosecutor declines to appear, surely the court would have no option but to desert the diet simpliciter, just as a civil action falls, if the pursuer (or his agent) fails to appear and insist in the instance.

  8. The First Amendment guarantees peaceable assembly. Incitement to riot is a crime and a violation of peaceable assembly. Jussie Smollett incited riot and violated peaceable assembly.
    The attack on Reginald Denny was a racially motivated hate crime in the 1992 Los Angeles riots in which Reginald Denny, a white construction truck driver, was beaten nearly to death by a group of black men who came to be known as the “L.A. Four”. The attack was captured on video by a news helicopter, and broadcast live on US national television. Wikipedia

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