That’s what a headline above a story in the Chicago Sun-Times read yesterday.
Anyone surprised that the primary purpose of red light cameras is revenue?
That’s what a headline above a story in the Chicago Sun-Times read yesterday.
Anyone surprised that the primary purpose of red light cameras is revenue?
It’s OK for Chicago Alderman to carry concealed handguns, but not its citizens.
It’s OK for suburban Cook County residents to carry concealed guns, but not Chicagoans.
That’s what I conclude after listening to part of a WBEZ interview with State Senator Kwame Raoul, the sponsor of the Illinois State Senate’s concealed carry legislation.
First he wanted the Cook County Sheriff to approve all concealed carry permits outside of Chicago. Chicago residents would have to pass the muster of Chicago’s top cop.
Then Chicago resident Raoul apparently figured out that some municipalities like Elgin, Barrington, Buffalo Grove are in both Cook and surrounding counties.
People on one side of those cities would have the right to protect themselves on the street, but not others.
Oh, the confusion.
So Raoul backed off from denying most suburban Cook County residents from their Second Amendment rights, as defined by the Federal Appellate Court sitting in Chicago, and decided to focus on his hometown, the place where people need to be able to protect themselves more than anywhere else in Illinois.
He would only require his constituents and other Chicago residents to prove they had a need to carry a weapon.
And, his bill would allow Home Rule municipalities in suburban Cook County the power to require approval from a local law enforcement official. (I didn’t listen long enough to know whether that would be the local police chief or the Cook County Sheriff.)
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:
CHICAGO — A Chicago police officer was convicted today of obtaining two extortion payments totaling $3,200 from a cooperating tow truck driver, in exchange for steering vehicle tows from accident scenes, during an undercover investigation.
The defendant, DEAVALIN PAGE, who was assigned to the South Chicago District at the time, was relieved of his police powers and assigned to desk duty following the payments that occurred in late 2007 and early 2008.
Page was convicted on two counts of attempted extortion by a federal jury that deliberated a little more than two hours this morning after being presented with video recordings and other evidence of the payments during a trial that began Monday in U.S. District Court.
Page, 46, of Chicago, an officer since 1995, faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of attempted extortion.
He remains free on bond pending sentencing, which U.S. District Judge John Darrah scheduled for 1 p.m. on Oct. 23.
Page was indicted last October as part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Operation Tow Scam, a corruption probe of police officers who steered vehicle tows at accident scenes to favored tow drivers in exchange for extortion payments.
Page is the eighth police officer to be convicted, along with four civilians – three of them tow truck drivers, and charges are pending against two additional police officers.
Evidence at the trial showed that Page obtained two payments from a cooperating tow truck driver, Brian Chandler, in exchange for steering him various tows.
Chandler has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and bank larceny and is awaiting sentencing.
The first payment, on Nov. 28, 2007, was $2,000 in the bathroom of a coffee shop at 79th Street and Stoney Island.
The second payment, on Jan. 28, 2008, was $1,200 in the parking lot of a bank while Page was in his private vehicle.
The latter payment, in part, was in exchange for towing three cars, at least one of which did not require towing, from an accident scene at 86th and Burnham involving a teenager who was driving her parents’ insured car.
The guilty verdict was announced today by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Garry F. McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Donovan and Steven Grimes.
Basic economics teaches that when one prices something high that few will be sold.
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has proposed that Cook County residents be charged $300 to apply for a concealed carry license. That’s what the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
That will keep poor blacks and Latinos, not to mention white people from being able to legally protect themselves.
John Lott made that point in is “More Guns, Less Crime” (review here of most recent 2010 edition).
It is so intuitive that I wonder if any of the liberal commentators will pick up on what appears to be racial discrimination.
The article tells of Dart speaking “to elderly people in the south suburbs. They complained that the police were unresponsive. Some said they were regularly burglarized while they attended church.”
Does he think elderly people have $300 to spare in order to exercise a Constitutional Right?
The Federal Appellate Court decision granting concealed carry rights to Illinois residents does not say that poor people have less of a right than middle class and rich people to carry guns to protect themselves.
As the decision says,
“The Supreme Court has decided that the [Second A]mendment confers a right to bear arms for self-defense, which is as important outside the home as inside.”
Dart said the $300 fee would pay for administrative fees.”
When Federal Magistrate Daniel Martin gave Aurora teenager Abdella Ahmad Tounisi a get-out-of-jail card, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago strongly objected.
Today U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang reversed Martin’s decision.
Below you can read the argument made successfully to a Federal Judge today. It resulted in Tounisi’s remaining in the Federal lockup.
I. The Section 3142(g) Factors Weigh in Favor of Detention
A. Nature and Circumstances of the Offense Charged
Two weeks ago, the defendant attempted to board a flight to Istanbul, Turkey, with the intention of traveling to Syria and joining an Al Qaedasponsored terrorist organization known as Jabhat al-Nusrah. [FN2] The defendant’s attempt join this terrorist group was the culmination of months of planning, much of which the defendant’s family, including the third-party custodian, knew about. As described below, the defendant persisted in his plans despite all efforts by his parents, other relatives, and religious leaders to dissuade him from traveling overseas to engage in violent jihad.
= = = = =
FN2 Jabhat al-Nusrah is a jihadist militant group operating inside Syria. On or about December 11, 2012, the United States Department of State amended the Foreign Terrorist Organization and Executive Order 13224 designations of al-Qaida in Iraq
(AQI) to include the following aliases: Jabhat al-Nusrah, al-Nusrah Front, Jabhet al-Nusra, The Victory Front, and Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant. The Department of State previously designated AQI a Foreign Terrorist Organization
under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act on or about December 15, 2004.
= = = = =
In the months leading up to the defendant’s attempt to leave the country, the defendant performed extensive online research related to martyrdom and violent jihad, such as searches for:
= = = = =
FBN3 Sulayman ibn Nasir Al’ulwan is an Islamic scholar from the early fifteenth century who offered a defense of martyrdom operations.
FN4 “Shahada” is an Arabic word that, in this context, appears to refer to martyrdom.
FN5 “Shaheed” is an Arabic word that means martyr.
FN6 Ayman al-Zawahiri is the current leader of al-Qaeda.
= = = = =
The defendant’s plans for martyrdom centered on the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusrah, a group that has pledged allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri and Al Qaeda. According to a release issued by the Department of State on December 11, 2012, since November 2011, this designated terrorist organization has claimed nearly 600 terrorist attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers in Syria, leading to the death of “numerous innocent Syrians.”
The defendant was well aware of Jabhat al-Nusrah’s violent exploits and its affiliation with Al Qaeda. He spent countless hours watching videos of Jabhat al-Nusrah suicide bombings and poured over articles about the group’s ties to Al Qaeda (and even articles about its designation by the United States State Department).
As the defendant immersed himself in media and other propaganda relating to Jabhat al-Nusrah, he resolved to leave behind his life in Americaand join the group.
To get to Syria, he decided to fly from Chicago to Istanbul,Turkey, and then travel from Istanbul to Gaziantep, Turkey, a city that lies near the border of Turkey and Syria.
Importantly, the defendant’s plans to leave for Syria were no mystery to the proposed third-party custodian, the defendant’s father.
In a phone call from January 5, 2013, the defendant’s father told the defendant’s mother, “Ah . . . your son is thinking of going to Syria,” and asked, “Did you take the passport from him?” [FN7]
The defendant’s mother replied, “Yes . . . I took it.”
The family was also aware of the defendant’s fixation on engaging in a suicide operation.
On January 29, 2013, the defendant’s mother spoke to a relative about “not surrendering to [the defendant’s] wishes.”
The relative remarked that she warned the defendant, ‘“If you go, do not think you will die a martyr, you will die like a road kill.’’’
= = = = =
FN7 At the May 2, 2013 detention hearing, the government provided to the judge and counsel a binder with excerpts of certain recorded phone calls. The government will deliver a copy of this binder to the Court before the hearing tomorrow.
= = = = =
Yet seizing the defendant’s passport and urging him not to kill himself in battle did nothing to stop him. On March 1, 2013, the defendant applied for and obtained a P.O. Box in Aurora, Illinois. On that same day, he submitted a signed application for an expedited United States passport, claiming that he sought to travel to Jordan for 10-20 days on June 15, 2013.
The defendant also submitted a signed “Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport” in which the defendant claimed his previous passport had been lost, when in fact it had been taken by his parents. The defendant directed that the passport be sent to his new P.O. Box.
On March 28, 2013, while performing a search for Jabhat al-Nusrah propaganda, the defendant visited English and Arabic versions of a website that purported to recruit individuals to travel to Syria and join Jabhat al-Nusrah (it was in fact maintained by the FBI).
The top portion of the webpage stated, “A Call for Jihad in Syria,” and depicted a photograph of an armed fighter. The website also included a purported Jabhat al-Nusrah training video, which the defendant viewed. That video depicted individualswearing masks and fatigues, and engaging in training, such as running with firearms. The website stated, “come and join your lion brothers of Jabhat Al-Nusra who are fighting under the true banner of Islam, come and join your brothers, the heroes of Jabhat Al-Nusra.”
The defendant reached out to the website’s purported recruiter, who infact was an FBI online undercover employee (“the OCE”).
The defendant and the OCE exchanged several emails, during which the defendant told the OCE that he planned to leave for Syria by traveling to Istanbul, Turkey, and then from Istanbul to Gaziantep, a Turkish city that lies near the border of Turkey and Syria.
The defendant told the OCE that “if the opportunity is given to me to attain shahada [martyrdom] I will take it.”
On April 10, 2013, despite having no employment or earnings, the defendant managed to buy an airline ticket for an April 19, 2013 flight from Chicago to Istanbul, which the defendant related to the OCE.
At least by April 15, the defendant’s family learned of the ticket. The defendant’s mother asked the defendant over the phone whether he had “return[ed] that damn thing; the ticket.”
The defendant expressed concern that his mother was “saying that over the telephone,” which led the defendant and his mother to begin speaking in code about the airline ticket, calling it a “movie ticket.”
The defendant’s mother demanded that the defendant “take it back.”
A few days later, the defendant’s mother talked to another family member about trying to convince the defendant to “return the ticket.”
Their attempts to stop the defendant proved futile, just like all of the previous attempts for the past six months.
On April 18, 2013, the defendant received from the OCE a bus ticket from Istanbul to Gaziantep, where the defendant was to meet with “brothers”from Jabhat al-Nusrah who would take the defendant to a training camp.
The next day, the defendant sent the OCE an email, describing what he would be wearing upon his arrival in Istanbul. The defendant noted that if failed to make it to Gaziantep, it would be because he was “arrested in the US or in Turkey.”
On the evening of April 19, 2013, the defendant went to O’Hare International Airport in an attempt to travel to Istanbul, intending to join Jabhat al-Nusrah.
At the airport, after proceeding through airport security and sitting down at his gate, the defendant was questioned by CBP officers, who asked the defendant about his travel.
The defendant told CBP officers that he was traveling to Turkey for three and a half days to “sightsee” and did not plan to visit any other countries.
When confronted about the bus ticket to Gaziantep, which the defendant had in his carry-on luggage, the defendant claimed he simply planned to tour that city as well.
Soon after the interview, the defendant was arrested.
B. Weight of the Evidence Against the Defendant
The evidence against the defendant is compelling.
As laid out in the criminal complaint affidavit, the FBI’s investigation was extensive and involved a variety of surveillance techniques.
Not only were the defendant’s plans captured through online and physical surveillance, all of his communications with the FBI undercover employee were recorded.
The web of lies the defendant spun to obtain a new passport and avoid scrutiny from CBP officers further reveals his guilty conscience, as does his final communication to the OCE – that if he did not arrive in Gaziantep, it would be because he was arrested.
The electronic surveillance, coupled with evidence that other witnesses (including family members) knew about the defendant’s plan, makes this a strong case.
C. History and Characteristics of the Defendant
The defendant is an eighteen year old United States citizen who resided (intermittently) with his parents in Aurora.
Although the defendant has no criminal history, his recent arrest hardly counts as his first encounter with law enforcement.
The defendant was a close friend of an individual named Adel Daoud, who on September 14, 2012, was arrested for attempting to detonate a bomb outside a bar in downtown Chicago. See United States v. Daoud, 12 CR 723.
As described in the affidavit, the defendant and Daoud shared an interest in violent jihad, a topic about which the two exchanged a number of emails, phone calls, and text messages.
In July 2012, Daoud was introduced to a purported operational terrorist, but who in fact was an FBI undercover agent. Daoud met with the undercover agent on several occasions, during the course of which he selected, researched, and surveilled a target for a terrorist attack to be carried out in the Chicago area.
In August 2012, Daoud shared his plans for a terrorist attack with the defendant and sought the defendant’s assistance.
The defendant recommended certain attack techniques, offered ideas about targeting, and researched those locations online to analyze their feasibility.
Ultimately, however, in mid-August 2012, the defendant decided against participating in the attack, in part because he believed the undercover agent was associated with law enforcement.
As Daoud explained to the undercover agent, the defendant sought instead to travel overseas to engage in violent jihad (and even pinpointed the date as April 2013).
Daoud opted to carry out the attack without the defendant, which led to his arrest on September 14, 2012,
Hours after Daoud’s arrest, the defendant was interviewed by FBI agents at his home in the presence of his parents. During the interview, the defendant initially claimed he barely knew Daoud and that he knew nothing
of Daoud’s plans.
After FBI agents stressed the importance of telling the truth, the defendant eventually acknowledged that he had discussed with Daoud the topic of bombing concerts and nightclubs in August 2012.
The defendant told FBI agents that during Ramadan he and Daoud searched for concerts and nightclubs, locations which the defendant understood to be targets of a bombing attack.
The defendant said he recommended as a target a particular nightclub in Naperville, Illinois.
The defendant told FBI agents that he eventually concluded that the person whom Daoud believed to be a terrorist was in fact a “spy,” meaning an FBI informant.
The defendant said that he had changed his mind about placing a bomb outside a nightclub after a religious leader told him it was wrong, though the defendant said he knew that Daoud was still planning to commit a bombing attack.
Finally, the defendant admitted that he contemplated traveling to Yemen to engage in jihad.
The defendant’s involvement in a plot to detonate a bomb in Chicago reveals much about his worldview.
But perhaps even more revealing is the fact that none of this deterred the defendant from attempting to travel overseas to join a terrorist group.
If ever the defendant experienced a wakeup call, surely it would be when his good friend was arrested on terrorism charges for a crime the defendant helped plan.
What is more, the September 14, 2012 interview made plain to the defendant (and his parents) that the FBI was aware of the defendant’s conduct and interest in violent jihad.
That the defendant continued to pursue this path in the face of the FBI’s scrutiny speaks volumes about his history and characteristics.
Neither the defendant’s parents nor the FBI was able to shake the defendant from the path that led to his arrest in this case.
D. Nature and Seriousness of the Defendant’s Danger to the Community
The defendant did not simply want to offer himself as a soldier to fight in the ranks of a terrorist militia, he wanted to die killing others, a desire he revealed not only to the purported terrorist recruiter but also to his parents.
The congressional presumption of dangerousness assigned to those who wish to engage in terrorist offenses certainly applies here.
The defendant presents a danger to the community (a term that includes the worldwide community, see United States v. Hir, 517 F.3d 1081 (9th Cir. 2008)), if only because he withstood prolonged efforts by others to dissuade him from engaging in violent jihad.
The defendant’s parents (including the proposed third-party custody) knew about his desire to die a martyr in Syria and tried repeatedly to intervene, all to no avail.
Nor were other members of the defendant’s community able to convince him that traveling overseas for violent jihad was wrong. These facts only reinforce the presumption of dangerousness.
II. The Defendant Fails to Rebut the Presumption Favoring Detention
The defendant has failed to provide evidence to overcome section 3142(e)’s presumption of dangerousness and risk of flight. As the Seventh Circuit explained in Dominguez, the presumption in section 3142 represents a congressional finding that certain groups of offenders “are likely to continue to engage in criminal conduct undeterred either by the pendency of charges against them or by the imposition of monetary bond or other release conditions.” See Dominguez, 783 F.2d at 707.
A defendant so-charged must therefore produce some evidence of their individual circumstances or characteristics to show that “what might be true in general, is not true in their particular case.” Id. (quoting United States v. Jessup, 757 F.2d 378, 384 (1st Cir. 1985).
At the detention hearing, the magistrate judge put undue weight on the recommendation of the pretrial services officer that the defendant be released. That recommendation fails to account for the presumption in this case and the evidence laid out in the affidavit (and at the detention hearing).
In other words, the defendant’s involvement in a plot to carry out a terrorist attack and his ability to obtain another passport, purchase a flight, and make it to O’Hare were not factored into the calculus of the pretrial services officer and, in turn, the magistrate judge.
Even a lack of criminal history should carry less force when dealing with a person caught attempting to join a foreign terrorist organization and carry out a martyrdom operation. Unlike other crimes, such as drug offenses, the charged offense typically is the sort that may only be committed once.
Given his track record, the assurance of the defendant’s father to call pretrial services if the defendant were to escape should ring hollow, particularly since he knew about his son’s interest in violent jihad at least since September 2012 and was unable (or unwilling) to stop his own son from attempting to fly overseas and die a martyr. This defendant harbors an unusually firm commitment, one that has led him to reject all others in his life and overcome all of the logistical and financial obstacles that stood between him and the terrorist organization he so desperately wanted to join.
Given the defendant’s unwavering commitment to join a designated terrorist organization and engage in violent jihad, and the failure of his family (and the third-party custodian) to stop him from doing so, the conditions imposed by the magistrate judge are insufficient to protect the community and ensure the defendant’s appearance at court.
In the Epilogue of his new book “Chicago Confidential,” former State rep. and Senator Roger Keats says he has “changed the names to protect the guilty.”
The book is an insider’s look at political corruption in Chicago and Illinois.
If you have read it in the newspapers since the 1970′s, a reference probably appears in his book.
Two references came up today that are included in the book.
The first was about the crooked Judge Frank Wilson, the man who let mob murderer Harry Aleman off from a murder charge in 1977. Twenty years later, when Aleman was tried for a second time for murder, former mob lawyer Robert Cooley testified he delivered a $10,000 bribe to Wilson.
The judge’s decision in 1977 was so blatantly absurd that State Rep. Roscoe Cunningham and I introduced a resolution asking the Judicial Inquiry Board to investigate Judge Wilson.
You can imagine what happened to that effort.
Wilson did kill himself in 1990.
As did then ex-Judge Allen Rosin, a crooked ex-divorce court judge who shot himself right before he was scheduled to be indicted in 1987.
Wilson and Rosin only get referenced in passing in the 459-page book by the Republican who went down to defeat in his last campaign, one for President of the Cook County Board.
He moved to Texas the next year.
And wrote a “good-bye” letter that still gets hits.
I thought the story would have more in it about Springfield, but Keats, probably accurately, focuses only on how Springfield helps people get and keep power in Chicago.
And he is ahead of the curve in his major plot line–a Mexican cartel operating in Chicago.
Lots of shootouts, death, mayhem, mutilation and kinky sex.
It it were a movie, it would be X-rated.
The bullet holes and blood on the cover are understated, if anything.
But they match the picture of bullet holes accompanying the Associated Press article this week about Mexican cartels establishing footholds in United States cities, including Chicago.
So, what happens when a Mexican cartel comes up against the major black gang in Chicago?
And what is the relationship of the cartel with the biggest Latino and black gangs, both of whom deal drugs supplied by the cartel?
How does Keats see the two local ethnic drug selling gangs relating to each other?
Do Chicago gangs really control Chicago Aldermen (or “Alderthings,” as I remember hearing now-Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky mutter while walking out of the House chambers when she and I served there)?
Do gang members serve as election judges?
Do gang members go from precinct to precinct voting under names of people who should not be on the voter rolls?
Keats surely paints a picture where one (at least if one is a Republican) wants to believe they do.
Does the Illinois House Speaker (named Burke in the book, but who has a daughter who is Attorney General) really use state funds and Federal (stimulus) money to keep Chicago politicians under his thumb.
“You can’t make this stuff up,” Keats writes again and again in the Epilogue.
The heroes are honest cops.
And attorney Terry Hake plays himself in Operation Greylord, even though Keats moves is up from 1990.
What does the cartel do to get the policemen who won’t toe the Chicago line?
You’ll have to buy the book to find out.
It’s for sale at ChicagoConfidentialTheBook.com.
The building that looks like a glass ski slope or a huge hot dog stand located across from Chicago’s City Hall was named for Governor James R. Thompson.
People call it the Thompson Center.
Land on which it sits used to be occupied by the Civic Center Bank and the Sherman House.
Both had interesting political connections.
Civic Center Bank stock was involved in financial shenanigans (read the political names in this court motion for more about the Civic Center Bank) uncovered by the late Sherman Skolnick. What he found resulted in two Illinois Supreme Court Justices (Associate Roy J. Solfisburg, Jr. and Chief Justice Ray Klingbiel) resigning. (A third resigned for “health” reasons, as I remember.)
The Sherman House was owned by the Teamsters Pension Fund.
And the State of Illinois bought both properties.
And built a new headquarters across the street from the old State of Illinois Building.
Now comes the head of the Chicago Federation of Labor, Jorge Ramirez, agreeing to a suggestion by Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper that the Thompson Center should be turned into a casino.
A friend of mind describes government as a way those in control can reward friends and campaign contributors.
If the Thompson Center is turned into a casino, more friends and campaign contributors will be rewarded, of course, but some small number to taxpayers will become winners, too.
Unfortunately, it will not have a 20-foot sign on its facade warning, “Losers.”
The Sun-Times article notes that the building is 28-years old and needs renovating.
When it was built, a crucial element was cut to save money. The windows were supposed to be double-paned, but the second, energy-saving layer of glass was eliminated in one of the worst false economies in Illinois governmental construction history.
Read the decision if you are really interested.
This decision comes with the backdrop of Chicago Police being incapable to stop people from getting shot on the street.
Here are some snippets:
“Even carrying an unloaded gun in public, if it’s uncased and immediately accessible, is prohibited, other than to police and other excepted persons, unless carried openly outside a vehicle in an unincorporated area and ammunition for the gun is not immediately accessible. 720 ILCS 5/24-1(a)(4)(iii), (10)(iii), -1.6(a)(3)(B).” (Page 2)
“But the Supreme Court has not yet addressed the question whether the Second Amendment creates a right of self-defense outside the home.” (Page 2)
“Nor can we ignore the implication of the analysis that the constitutional right of armed selfdefense is broader than the right to have a gun in one’s home.” (Page 4)
“Heller explored the right’s origins, noting that the 1689 English Bill of Rights explicitly protected a right to keep arms for self-defense, 554 U.S. at 593, and that by 1765, Blackstone was able to assert that the right to keep and bear arms was ‘one of the fundamental rights of Englishmen,’ id. at 594.” 130 S. Ct. at 3037. And immediately the Court adds that ‘Blackstone’s assessment was shared by the American colonists.’” (Page 4)
“The Second Amendment states in its entirety that ‘a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed’ (emphasis added). The right to ‘bear’ as distinct from the right to ‘keep’ arms is unlikely to refer to the home.” (Page 5)
“And one doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home.” (Page 5)
“Twenty-first century Illinois has no hostile Indians. But a Chicagoan is a good deal more likely to be attacked on a sidewalk in a rough neighborhood than in his apartment on the 35th floor of the Park Tower. A woman who is being stalked or has obtained a protective order against a violent ex-husband is more vulnerable to being attacked while walking to or from her home than when inside. She has a stronger self-defense claim to be allowed to carry a gun in public than the resident of a fancy apartment building (complete with doorman) has a claim to sleep with a loaded gun under her mattress. But Illinois wants to deny the former claim, while compelled by McDonald to honor the latter. That creates an arbitrary difference.” (Page 8)
“A gun is a potential danger to more people if carried in public than just kept in the home. But the other side of this coin is that knowing that many law-abiding citizens are walking the streets armed may make criminals timid. Given that in Chicago, at least, most murders occur outside the home, Chicago Police Dep’t, Crime at a Glance: District 1 13 (Jan.–June 2010), the net effect on crime rates in general and murder rates in particular of allowing the carriage of guns in public is uncertain both as a matter of theory and empirically.” (Page 8)
“Concealed carriage of guns might increase the death rate from assaults rather than increase the number of assaults. But the studies don’t find that laws that allow concealed carriage increase the death rate from shootings, and this in turn casts doubt on the finding of an increased crime rate when concealed carriage is allowed; for if there were more confrontations with an armed criminal, one would expect more shootings. Moreover, there is no reason to expect Illinois to impose minimal permit restrictions on carriage of guns outside the home, for obviously this is not a state that has a strong pro-gun culture, unlike the states that began allowing concealed carriage before Heller and MacDonald enlarged the scope of Second Amendment rights.” (Page 12)
“Charles C. Branas et al., “Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault,” 99 Am. J. of Pub. Health 2034, 2037 (2009), finds that assault victims are more likely to be armed than the rest Nos. 12-1269, 12-1788 13 of the population is, which might be thought evidence that going armed is not effective self-defense. But that finding does not illuminate the deterrent effect of knowing that potential victims may be armed.” (Pages 12 + 13)
“David Hemenway & Deborah Azrael, “The Relative Frequency of Offensive and Defensive Gun Uses: Results from a National Survey,” 15 Violence & Victims 257, 271 (2000), finds that a person carrying a gun is more likely to use it to commit a crime than to defend himself from criminals. But that is like saying that soldiers are more likely to be armed than civilians.” (Page 13)
“In sum, the empirical literature on the effects of allowing the carriage of guns in public fails to establish a pragmatic defense of the Illinois law…Anyway the Supreme Court made clear in Heller that it wasn’t going to make the right to bear arms depend on casualty counts.” (Page 13)
“Illinois has not made that strong showing—and it would have to make a stronger showing in this case than the government did in Skoien, because the curtailment of gun rights was much narrower: there the gun rights of persons convicted of domestic violence, here the gun rights of the entire lawabiding adult population of Illinois.” (Page 14)
“A blanket prohibition on carrying gun in public prevents a person from defending himself anywhere except inside his home; and so substantial a curtailment of the right of armed self-defense requires a greater showing of justification than merely that the public might benefit on balance from such a curtailment, though there is no proof it would.” (Page 14)
“Illinois has lots of options for protecting its people from being shot without having to eliminate all possibility of armed self-defense in public.” (page 15)
“Remarkably, Illinois is the only state that maintains a flat ban on carrying ready-to-use guns outside the home, though many states used to ban carrying concealed guns outside the home…Not even Massachusetts has so flat a ban as Illinois, though the District of Columbia does…” (Page 15)
“It is not that all states but Illinois are indifferent to the dangers that widespread public carrying of guns 16 Nos. 12-1269, 12-1788 may pose. Some may be. But others have decided that a proper balance between the interest in self-defense and the dangers created by carrying guns in public is to limit the right to carry a gun to responsible persons rather than to ban public carriage altogether, as Illinois with its meager exceptions comes close to doing. Even jurisdictions like New York State, where officials have broad discretion to deny applications for gun permits, recognize that the interest in self-defense extends outside the home. There is no suggestion that some unique characteristic of criminal activity in Illinois justifies the state’s taking a different approach from the other 49 states. If the Illinois approach were demonstrably superior, one would expect at least one or two other states to have emulated it.” (Pages 15 + 16)
“If enough private institutions decided to do that [ban guns from their premises], the right to carry a gun in public would have much less value and might rarely be exercised—in which event the invalidation of the Illinois law might have little effect, which opponents of gun rights would welcome.” (Page 17)
“Recently the Second Circuit upheld a New York state law that requires an applicant for a permit to carry a concealed handgun in public to demonstrate “proper cause” to obtain a license.” (Page 17)
“…though we need not speculate on the limits that Illinois may in the interest of public safety constitutionally impose on the carrying of guns in public; it is enough that the limits it has imposed go too far.” (Page 19)
“…only legislative facts are relevant to the constitutionality of the Illinois gun law. The key legislative facts in this case are the effects of the Illinois law; the state has failed to show that those effects are positive.” (Page 20)
“The theoretical and empirical evidence (which overall is inconclusive) is consistent with concluding that a right to carry firearms in public may promote self-defense. Illinois had to provide us with more than merely a rational basis for believing that its uniquely sweeping ban is justified by an increase in public safety. It has failed to meet this burden. The Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment therefore compels us to reverse the decisions in the two cases before us and remand them to their respective district courts for the entry of declarations of unconstitutionality and permanent injunctions. Nevertheless we order our mandate stayed for 180 days to allow the Illinois legislature to craft a new gun law that will impose reasonable limitations, consistent with the public safety and the Second Amendment as interpreted in this opinion, on the carrying of guns in public.” (Pages 20 + 21)
Justice Williams filed at 25-page dissent.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Springfield:
Springfield, Ill. – A Chicago woman who formerly served as treasurer for the Chicago Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association (CCBNA), Tonja Cook, 45, entered a plea of guilty this afternoon to a single count of mail fraud related to a scheme to defraud various state grant programs.
Cook appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore.
Sentencing has been scheduled for March 25, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough.
According to the terms of the conditional plea agreement, if accepted by the court, Cook faces a sentence of no greater than 33 months in prison. Cook may also be ordered to pay restitution.
Cook was allowed to remain on bond pending sentencing.
Cook, a registered nurse, served as the treasurer of the Chicago Chapter of the National Black Nurses Association at the time of the scheme, from 2005 to 2009.
Cook admitted to her role in the scheme to defraud, as assisting and acting at the direction of the chapter’s program director, Margaret Davis, who solicited and received more than $1,000,000 in funds from various state agencies.
Further, as a result of the scheme, as much as $500,000 or more of grant and contract funds was converted to their personal use and benefit as well as to the benefit of others, including Davis’s
Davis remains charged with 14 counts of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering related to the alleged scheme.
Trial for Davis is scheduled to begin on Jan. 15, 2013, before Judge Myerscough.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass is prosecuting the case on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. The investigation is being conducted by participating agencies of the Central District of Illinois’ U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Public Corruption Task Force including the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Chicago Division; the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations; the Illinois Secretary of State Office of Inspector General; and the Illinois State Police Division of Internal Investigation. Individuals who wish to provide information to law enforcement regarding matters of public corruption are urged to call the U.S. Attorney’s Office at
From December 2005 to June 2009, according to the indictment, Davis allegedly solicited and received 15 different grants and contracts totaling $1,062,000 on behalf of the CCBNA from Illinois state agencies including the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Department of Public Health; Department of Human Services; and the State Board of Education.
Davis allegedly represented that the funds would be used to conduct numerous healthcare advocacy-related and nursing student assistance activities, including
recruitment of 200 students to participate in the “Young Enough to Make a Difference Project;”
educational activities to promote public awareness of HIV/AIDS,
breast and cervical cancer,
prostate cancer, and
pandemic flu; and,
implementation of two nursing student internship programs.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
On Friday, October 19th, right before the election, Governor Pat Quinn took Amtrak on a 15-mile trip.
From Dwight to Pontiac, I think.
The train went 111 miles per hour.
The problem is that a car can still drive from the Chicago area to Springfield faster than the train.
And the Governor can fly in one of the State’s fleet of planes, just like the influential Chicago legislators.
They won’t take the train.
During the 1970′s when I had a lot of time, I often took the train from Crystal Lake to Chicago and from Chicago to Springfield and back.
But it didn’t save me time. Didn’t save me money either, because the State reimbursed the cost of the train ticket.
The train looking like a bullet train, but it’s maximum speed was only 69 miles per hour, just like now on most of the route.
I’d look out the window and see cars passing the train.
After a stop in Joliet and Dwight and Pontiac and Normal and Lincoln, I’d see the same cars and trucks passing us again.
It’s going to be a long time–probably never–when someone from the Northwest, Western or Southwester suburbs is tempted into Amtrak to go to Springfield.
Except to the train riding experience maybe.
And, I’m bold enough to suggest that there are not a lot of regular travelers from Downtown Chicago to Downtown St. Louis.
Hey. It only is going to cost $4 billion.
That would build a lot of roads.