There are a lot of issues at play in this case that have nothing to do with justice or the adjudication of guilt for a crime. Ultimately, these issues may have caused Chicago prosecutors to take their chips off the board and play another game. However, at present, the sex crimes charges against R. Kelly in Chicago have been dropped.
Many people, especially the victims, are angry that the prosecutors initiated the effort to build a case against Kelly and then decided not to pursue it. This has left the four Chicago victims with misgivings over the process of justice.
The state decided that the cost of prosecuting Kelly for these crimes was not worth it. Kelly is serving a 30-year sentence and will not be eligible for parole until he is at least 80. Kelly was convicted on various federal charges, including sex trafficking, enticement of a minor, and production of child pornography. However, he has never been convicted on the four counts of sexual assault he committed against the four Chicago victims.
Kim Foxx reached out to victims asking anyone with a history with Kelly to come forward. Four women did and formed the basis of a prosecution against him. They were asked to relive their accounts, give testimony to the state, and endure the pain of retraumatization only to have the case dismissed for judicial economy. So, they have a right to be angry.
What is a Trial?
Everyone knows what a trial is, but sometimes, because it is such an ever-present part of our lives, we take it for granted. The trial exists for two reasons. The first is to determine if a party is guilty of a crime. The next step is to determine the punishment of the criminal. That half has to do with society as a whole protecting itself. However, there is a second element to the trial that deals with the rights of the victims to be made whole, to see the guilty punished for their conduct, and to have a chance to put their voices on the record. Ultimately, this last part is only for the victims and not for society at all.
The Other Side of the Argument
While the victims will not have a chance to face their abuser, money that would have been spent on that trial is now freed up for other victims of sexual violence. One thing that we do not consider often is the cost of a trial. A trial like R. Kelly’s will cost a lot of money and a lot of time and eat up resources that are required to prosecute other crimes.
In cases where prosecutors do choose to pursue charges like these against a defendant that is already facing a long sentence, it may be because they’re worried about the conviction being vacated on appeal. R. Kelly is appealing his conviction, but prosecutors are betting that he will lose.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
David Freidberg represents the rights of the accused. Call our Chicago office today at (312) 560-7100, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.