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I think we should probably start a forum to list judges that are lenient towards drunk and otherwise dangerous drivers.  We can review this list when it comes time to vote to retain the judge.  I searched the forum, but have not found a similar thread.

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I would love to see a list of judges to vote for or against based on cyclist issues. But by the 4th post, this thread turned into a meandering discussion, and I don't wish to to read through to find any other judges' names. (I came here via a link in the Chainlink mass email)

So I'll post this request- please do as the OP asked, and start a subforum or section, or even a facebook post for such a list. It would be good to be able to vote with intent on that section of the ballot next time.

It's a great idea to create a list but it'll take a lot of follow through. When I heard about the 10 day sentence I was appalled. I try to be open minded about these things because there could be more details that I don't know, but in this case, I can't think of anything that would make a 10 day sentence fair. All of that said, I looked up the judge and he was just re-elected and won't be on the ballot for 6 more years. Unfortunately, most people will have forgotten these stories by then.

Go over and take a look at the transcript from the sentencing hearing:

It may include some details you don't know.

Bumping this thread back to the top.  Primaries are coming up.  Remember to review the records of judges on the ballot.

This is all well and good in theory.  However, in practice, the reality is that almost no one who votes for judges in Cook County, both running for election and for retention, actually knows anything about those candidates.  The various bar groups make recommendations, but they too have their axes to grind.  Most judicial elections are won by the candidate slated by the party, regardless of qualifications.  As for retention, I am hard-pressed to remember a Cook County judge who was not retained once they got in.  I'll bet there haven't been ten non-retentions in the last 20 years.  The retention ballot essentially means nothing. 

In my opinion, judges should not be elected or retained on the basis of a popular vote.  A merit system needs to be introduced based on peer review and actual written testing of the judges' legal knowledge.  That will not be happening in Cook County, ever.

The good thing is that regardless of how they got their job, quite a few judges in Cook County do turn out to be competent and decent in the long run.  It's sure not because of the election system, though.    

9 non-retentions in 20 years is more than zero--small comfort maybe, but something!

Chicago Council of Lawyers analysis and recommendations (.pdf):

Many Bar associations in Illinois get together to review judges.  You can find their collective results here:

There is new resource on this issue too:

Please vote people!  Early voting is underway now and the primary election is Tuesday, March 20.   

Great idea! I’m in.

See Yasmeen's message from 2/11/17 about Samuel Betar.  He is up for reelection in November in the 13th Subcircuit (northwest suburban Cook County).

I looked up the other judges mentioned, but they were elected to 6 year terms in 2016.

Injustice Watch has a great guide at Their guide is baswed on a review of publicly available records, including whether judges' decisions are frequently overturned on appeal and similar issues.

Judge Matthew Coghlan has been ousted by the voters ! 

Judge Coghlan became the first Cook County judge to lose a retention election in 28 years !



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