Great News For Criminals

Great News For Criminals

Cook County budget cuts are coming, and it's not looking good for the state's attorney's office. According to Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, she is going to have to make some major cuts, including more than 100 layoffs. Alvarez has negotiated down the number of attorneys she's going to lose, which now looks like about 25 (it was 58), but it's still a huge cut. And the number of support staff positions to be eliminated is around 100. She says this is going to have an impact on public safety, and I agree. These major cuts are happening in an already strained office. As it is, these attorneys are overworked with caseloads they can't handle. It's hard to imagine it getting much worse.

It's good news for criminals, though. It's going to be easier for them to beat their charges. Fewer attorneys working the cases will mean more deals and more dismissals. Prosecutors already rely on deals in order to clear the system of cases, and it appears they're going to have to do it even more. Even for cases they want to prosecute, they can't move forward if they don't have time to prepare. There's no way they can follow through on every case that warrants attention.

I'm not trying to be alarmist. They're not setting murderers free. But if you're facing charges like petty theft, drugs, etc., the system might not have time for you. If you get a good attorney, there's a good chance they can make it go away. This already happens, to an extent, but it's going to happen a lot more if we lose these attorneys.



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  • Maybe we should also think about lightening the burden on state prosecutors by legalizing or at least decriminalizing victimless crimes like possession of street drugs and activities between consenting adults such as prostitution. Then they'd be left to focus on crimes that cause real harm to others.

  • In reply to gotamd:

    Agreed. I brought up this exact point about prostitution last week, however, I think it is even more applicable to all those dangerous pot users out there.

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