Friday, January 28, 2011

Court Advocates Needed

From a 23rd District Court Advocate:

"If you've got a free morning on Tuesday, February 1st, we're looking for residents to join us in court to show community concern over some recent gang tagging.  The case is at the Skokie Courthouse (near Old Orchard) at 9:30am.  A member of the "Almighty Latin Eagles" was picked up by the 23rd District Police in the act of spray painting the entire side of the building at Kenmore and Irving with gang signs promoting his own gang and dissing another.  Get this:  He was doing it so his "creation" would appear on a YouTube channel showcasing gang graffiti.

Because the damage ran into the thousands of dollars, it is most probably going to be tried as a felony case.  It probably won't be resolved that day, but a strong showing of community concern will start it out on a strong note!  If you come to court, you won't be asked to speak or testify.  Court advocates sit in the courtroom to let the judge and others know that a particular case is important to the community it occurred in.  The most that will happen is that we'll stand up in the spectator seats when the case is called, then sit down after 30 seconds or so.  It depends on the judge whether or not we even do that, but the ASA will definitely make it known to him or her that members of the community are present.

I don't have the courtroom information handy right now, but will write with it later.  Just wanted to get the word out and hope a few people can show up on Tuesday.  Kenmore in particular has been hit hard by Latino gangs' graffiti, and it would be great to send a message that not only does Uptown prosecute cases hard, but that the community is strongly behind the cops and prosecution.  Thanks, UU!"


  1. I cannot attend because I'll be out of town. I'd like to point out that court advocates play a vital role in holding the Courts (Judges and Prosecutors) accountable in their part of this screwed up system.
    We can see here that the police did their job, and continue doing great work arresting these offenders who are often convicted felons/repeat offenders. Prosecutors "nolle prosequi" which means they will not pursue charges or judges find no probable cause (which is a total joke).
    IF the case goes further the offenders get minimal punishment. This is a HUGE problem people!!!
    These thugs are not afraid of the police or the criminal justice system because there is no punishment for the havoc they wreak. At most they spend 5-12 hours in the city lockup before they are a) bonded out or b)sent to court. This is the only punishment they will likely receive for dealing drugs, ruining your property, costing you and taxpayers thousands of dollars, causing someone harm, etc.
    Let's hold the Courts accountable for keeping our streets safe. Let's stop electing do-nothing judges.

  2. I am all for going to show support, but I cannot attend. I do however, feel the need to defend the judges on the findings of no probably cause.

    There are hundreds of cases the judges have to get through. Judges will routinely dismiss minor cases or SOL them so resources can be used to deal with the bigger cases. It is not their fault that there are so many cases and so little resources.

  3. The U.S. has the largest per-capita prison population in the world! To act like nobody gets locked up for anything in this country is misleading. The truth is quite to the contrary. The myth that longer jail sentences will reduce crime on a large scale, systemic level is just that, a myth.

  4. Can someone provide more detailed information about the gang graffiti tags? When and where did they actually appear? Are there any pictures available?