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IL: A Veteran Cook County Judge Has Been Repeatedly Blocked from Hearing Sex Offense Cases. Here’s Why.

[bettergov.org – 10/22/20]

A Chicago teenager pleaded with Cook County Judge James Linn to impose the maximum prison sentence on the man who sexually assaulted her and her two sisters for several years and threatened to kill them if they told anyone.

“Help us ensure that there will be one less rapist out on the streets,” the woman, then 19, wrote in a victim impact statement read aloud at the sentencing hearing in May 2011. “At the end of the day, I just want justice to be served the correct way. With absolutely no leniency, because he didn’t show us any.”

But in a huge break for the defendant, Joseph Fultz, Linn took the extraordinarily unusual step of reversing the jury’s verdict and convicting him of a far less serious sex charge. Linn then sentenced Fultz to 18 years in prison, a far cry from the mandatory life sentence he faced if the jury’s decision had stood.

For the Cook County state’s attorney’s office, the about-face marked the final straw following a series of what prosecutors viewed as unfavorable decisions by Linn on sex cases, according to internal office emails and interviews with several former prosecutors.

“What is his problem?” then-State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez wrote of Linn in an email at the time. “This is getting out of hand with him.”

Read the full article

 

Join the discussion

  1. Dustin

    It’s a pretty open secret that in any given county, the DA essentially runs the court and most judges don’t read what they (DAs) put on their desk beyond the signature block. This story strikes me as bashing a judge that doesn’t do that. He appears to hold prosecutors to statutory burdens of proof, even in sex crime prosecutions.

    Pretty sure judge shopping is illegal in many states, and at least unethical if not. That the Cook County (IL) DAs office does it so blatantly really should be addressed by the Illinois Bar Association.

    • New Person

      This researched article surely exposes this type of behavior.

      I guess the judges being SOJ in this article are trying to implement justice, not vengeance.

  2. w

    Victim impact statements can be literally anything they want to write as it’s not sworn testimony. This is what the scum National District Attorneys Association and Crime Victims Rights groups managed to achieve, including the use of “comfort animals” at trial to ease the accusers into a possibly false testimony. The list of “victimhood perks” goes on and they basically do nothing for the accused.

    So in this case the judge isn’t being easy, they’re basing their ruling on how theatrical the district attorneys and “victim advocates” have made the process. It’s a show now, where the accused is just a dart board for target practice.

  3. Brandon

    How about we get rid of overzealous prosecutors hell bent on overcharging and conviction rates quota? How about following the law and true justice being blind?

    18 years is lenient on what planet? Maybe Uranus seems where their head is at.

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