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Cook County Chief Justice Pushes Back Critics of Electronic Surveillance – NBC Chicago

Chief Justice Tim Evans of the Cook County District Court pushed back against criticism of the county’s electronic surveillance program on Thursday, following comments by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot last week about a court system failure when the district This area is facing an increase in violent crime.

Evans discussed the program in a speech to Chicago’s Union League Club on Thursday afternoon, more than four years after he embarked on an effort to free more people as they wait. judge.

“Of course, as may be desired in this criminal crisis that we face the detention of dangerous people behind bars, we must still do so by providing those who accused of these heinous crimes due to due process,” Evans said, adding, “A person’s freedom in our system of government is precious.”

Evans said that Thursday’s electronic follower count was about 2,500 – down from last summer when there were about 3,500 people on the show.

The latest figures show that more than 800 of the individuals currently under electronic surveillance are facing various gun charges, 214 as an armed regular felon and 109 on a murder charge. Or try to kill someone.

But when Cook County registered a record 1,002 gun-related homicides in 2021, the operation was fiercely criticized by Chicago police, Cook County officials, and Lightfoot himself.

“I believe having 2,300 violent offenders on the streets makes our communities less safe, sending the exact wrong message to the victims and witnesses who are seeing these people back. street right after they were charged and there seems to be no justice for the victims and witnesses,” Lightfoot said when asked about electronic surveillance when it appeared unrelated January 18.

Evans said Thursday that he prays for Lightfoot but insists his bail reform efforts are not what fuels violent crime, only leading to the right to due process enshrined in the Constitution. United States law.

“Our system does not allow whistleblowers to be judges,” he said.

Evans cites a study of 111,000 cases in which he said 81% of those released pending trial were not guilty and of those who did commit crimes, only 5% were violent.

“That means 95 percent don’t get arrested for violent crimes,” Evans said.

Evans also said that no one charged with murder or attempted murder has been added to the electronic surveillance program as of October 2021 – and noted that the program itself is not intended to be standalone, nor not his preferred approach.

“I don’t want electronic surveillance,” Evans said. “I believe therapy is better.”

However, Evans admits that many communities are living in fear – but his message remains that electronic surveillance is not to blame.

“As the court tries to fulfill its responsibility, I want to say: We do not see the need to make a scapegoat for any of our stakeholders in the criminal justice process,” Evans said. “We can be different from time to time. But I think you could easily say that we all have the same goal and that is to have a safe and peaceful community.”

“I am saying that we need to work together,” he later added. “Pointing fingers at each other won’t solve the problem.”

https://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/cook-county-chief-judge-pushes-back-on-criticisms-of-electronic-monitoring/2740647/ Cook County Chief Justice Pushes Back Critics of Electronic Surveillance – NBC Chicago

DUSTIN JONES

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