Two Examples of New Prosecutor Tactics: Abuse of Power to Prosecute Critics, Not Criminals!

Posted: April 3, 2011 by mikethemouth in Local Issues, Prosecutorial Misconduct, Terrible Wrongs - Other Cases, the Responsiblility of the Media
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Cook County prosecutors are on the cutting-edge, wielding their almighty powers of the state to prosecute their critics in the legal community who have repeatedly embarrassed them by helping to free those who are wrongly accused. Instead of taking lessons to heart and improving the legal performance of the prosecutors in their department; Cook County prosecutors have chosen to go after individual attorneys and organizations who have been effective in helping defendants.

Prosecutors know that they can ruin reputations and that they can often depend upon their prey being socially isolated once they become the target of any prosecution. Witness what is happening with the Medill Innocence Project and Northwestern University journalism professor David Protess. By suspending Protess, John Lavine, dean of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism appears to be single-handedly discrediting investigative journalism and adding to the destruction of the lives of those IL prison inmates who are wrongly convicted.

Journalism Under Siege at Northwestern

…”For the last three years, Protess has been locked in a prolonged battle with Chicago prosecutors after Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez unveiled an unprecedented subpoena demanding all the records of Protess and his students concerning the case of Anthony McKinney, who Protess alleges has been behind bars for nearly thirty-five years for a murder he did not commit. For the full backstory, read The Nation’s editorial from last year, “Stalling Justice.” After initially defending Protess, Northwestern abruptly turned against him last fall, siding with prosecutors on the subpoena and culminating in Lavine’s sudden suspension of him last week…”

Protess and the Medill Innocence Project are not the only targets of Cook County prosecutors:

Felony charges for lawyer in cellphone case sparks legal debate

Attorney, Sladjana Vuckovicno, can no longer work the First Defense hotline since the CTA, which gave her special permission to do so before, has taken away the privilege since Cook County prosecutors her with a felony for bringing her cellphone into a police interview room.

“…The charges have sparked a controversy in the legal community. Several criminal-defense lawyers cannot remember a similar prosecution before in Illinois and said they routinely bring their cellphones into police interview rooms and sometimes let clients make calls, particularly to relatives if they express skepticism that the lawyer is truly there to defend them.

There are no signs in police stations warning against bringing a cellphone into an interview room, the lawyers said, and detectives rarely ask them to leave their belongings outside.

“If the state is attempting to interpret the statute so broadly that it includes the interview rooms at the police stations, then hundreds of lawyers in Illinois are committing Class 1 felonies on a daily basis,” said Richard Dvorak, a civil-rights lawyer who also is a member of the First Defense advisory board.”

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