Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail

Monday, October 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times
by Mari Cohen

One Cook County judge bucks chief judge’s order against unaffordably high bail

A year after Chief Judge Timothy Evans ordered judges in bond court at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse to set reasonable, affordable bails for defendants charged with nonviolent offense, one judge continues to flout the order.

A year after Chief Judge Timothy Evans ordered judges in bond court at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse to set reasonable, affordable bails for defendants charged with nonviolent offense, one judge continues to flout the order. | Sun-Times files

Mari Cohen | Injustice Watch

When Cook County’s chief judge announced last year that judges who preside over bail hearings would be required to take financial circumstances into account in deciding bail, the order was a victory for a coalition of activists and public officials.

They’d pushed for reform of a cash-bond system they said packed the Cook County Jail and too often left poor and minority defendants locked up while awaiting trial even for minor charges.

One year after Chief Judge Timothy Evans’s order took effect, one of the judges Evans moved to bond court as part of his reforms continues to set bail beyond defendants’ ability to pay in more than one in four cases, according to the coalition, called the Coalition to End Money Bond.

Judge Michael R. Clancy has veered from the chief judge’s order more often than the other five judges in bond court, where defendants make their initial court appearances.

Sharlyn Grace, co-executive director of the Chicago Community Bond Fund, which is a member of the coalition, calls Clancy’s practice of setting unaffordable bails “indefensible.”

Clancy, who didn’t respond to requests for comment, is among 59 Cook County judges who will be on the November ballot seeking six-year terms.

 
Despite chief judge’s reform order, Cook County Judge Michael R. Clancy continues to set bail beyond defendants’ ability to pay in more than one in four cases, a reform group found.

Despite chief judge’s reform order, Cook County Judge Michael R. Clancy continues to set bail beyond defendants’ ability to pay in more than one in four cases, a reform group found. | Cookcountyjudges.org

In a new evaluation, the Chicago Council of Lawyers — among the lawyers groups that make recommendations on whether judges should be retained — found Clancy “qualified” for retention, even though it noted the judge departs from Evans’s order more often than his colleagues. The council wrote that the bail-reform order has “been in place for less than one year” and said it “urges Judge Clancy to reconsider his actions, but we also recognize that he has received good marks as a judge in his previous assignments.”

Before Evans’s order took effect in September 2017, the Cook County Jail was crowded with thousands of defendants who remained locked up before trial even for nonviolent offenses.

Evans’s order requires felony bond court judges to make a determination on whether a suspect is dangerous. If a judge believes a suspect shouldn’t be released based on nothing more than a promise of returning to court for trial, bail is supposed to be set at an amount a defendant can afford. Under the chief judge’s order, those considered dangerous should be held without bail.

“The net result would be no one would be held pretrial based upon an inability to pay,” Evans said when he announced his order.

The move came amid a push for bail reform that had the backing of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Sheriff Tom Dart, Public Defender Amy Campanelli and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, in addition to activist groups who complained the bail system was unfair.

Before being shifted to bond court at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse, Clancy was assigned to the domestic violence divison of the court system. He was appointed to the bench by the Illinois Supreme Court in 2011 and elected in 2012. Previously, he was an assistant state’s attorney for 12 years and spent 10 years in private law practice.

According to the Chicago Council of Lawyers, when he heard domestic violence cases, Clancy “was praised for his legal knowledge and his ability to apply facts to the law. He was praised for being thorough in his legal analysis and for being fair and respectful to all parties.”

Mari Cohen is a reporter for Injustice Watch, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit journalism organization that conducts in-depth research to expose institutional failures that obstruct justice and equality.

Contributing: Rachel Kim, Abigail Bazin



Recent Headlines

Re: Property Taxes IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM COMMISSIONER SUFFREDIN
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

What's at stake in latest census numbers
Monday, April 22, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Legislation aims to make water rates across Illinois more affordable and equitable
Monday, April 22, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown worker who allegedly lied to federal grand jury set for trial
Sunday, April 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Time is running out for an affordable housing fix
Friday, April 19, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Assessor’s Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Women Prisoners in Cook County Jail Curate Global Film Festival
Thursday, April 18, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZ’s Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Vote for your favorite presidential candidate. The Illinois Democratic County Chair’s Association wants to know who you want to be the Democratic nominees for President and Vice President. Vote here.
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
WTTW News

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP