The following was handed out in Rockford by McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi. It must have been prepared prior to Judge Joseph McGraw’s rendering his scathing criticism of McHenry County Special Prosecutor Thomas McQueen.
When I was in Law School our ethics class studied Dante’s classic, “Inferno”.
The ninth and deepest circle was reserved for betrayers who misused and maligned our system of justice.
Such was the case of the misguided prosecution pursued by Thomas McQueen
The Power of the Prosecutor is virtually unlimited.
He has power and authority to advance or dismiss any prosecution and in capital cases, he literally has the power of life and death in his hands.
Special Prosecutors are entrusted with the same power as County Prosecutors:
- They have the same ethical responsibility to seek the truth before they Charge/Indict.
- They must comply with the orders of the Court.
- They must turn over any and all evidence that can be used by the Defendant to prove his innocence. This is an obligation; not a choice.
Rather than seek the truth, Thomas McQueen chose to follow “his marching orders” and charge four innocent people.
By withholding evidence, altering reports and using faulty evidence to procure an indictment, he flagrantly disregarded our legal process.
In so doing, he put a knife though the foundation and heart of our system of justice.
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s office understands its role to insure that that everyone is treated equally, impartially and equitably. Each and every Assistant State’s is committed to DO JUSTICE: making sure that the system if fair to all, always doing the Right Thing, at the Right Time, for the Right Reasons.