Articles Tagged with gun charge

the gun black and whiteIf you own a television, you know that a scourge of gun violence plagues the nation on a daily basis, and perhaps nowhere more frequently than in Chicago. The spike in murders and other shootings in Chicago in the past year has thrust the city into the national spotlight, and it has recently been made known that the police in Chicago are seizing more guns than anywhere else in the nation.

In 2014, the police confiscated around 7,000 illegal guns. In the first nine months of 2015, the Chicago Police Department says it has already seized over 5,500 illegal guns. The numbers keep climbing, and according to both prosecutors and defense attorneys, this causes jurors to wonder where and how the police are getting all of these illegal firearms.

If you face gun charges in Chicago, you are overwhelmingly likely to be convicted. The Cook County prosecutors win seven out of every ten gun cases, although obtaining convictions is becoming more difficult. There is a growing skepticism toward the Chicago Police Force and the credibility of the officers, which is reflected in several recent high profile arrests that were either dismissed by the judge for lack of probable cause, or the accused was acquitted because the jury did not believe the story told by the police. The events of the past several years and the killing of many unarmed black men by police officers throughout the country have contributed to this climate.

One of the recent headlines in the Chicago Sun Times read, “Cook County prosecutors steer clear of judges in gun cases.” Gun charges can wreak havoc on your life and in the lives of your loved ones, and as reported in this article, prosecutors purposely avoid judges and instead go to grand juries to ensure they will get indictments for gun charges.

The State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has actually ordered those prosecuting felony gun possession cases to present them to grand juries rather than go before a judge in a preliminary hearing.  In Illinois, grand juries and judges can both decide if there is probable cause for a trial, but grand juries are notorious for agreeing with the prosecutor and issuing an indictment. Judges can be less predictable, so the state’s attorney has decided to bypass them altogether.

How Does a Grand Jury Operate?