Being Charged With A Crime Should Not Involve Politics

If ever charged with a crime, we all expect, or at least hope, to be treated fairly and justly. This expectation should go both ways, for a person’s status is not a good reason for receiving special treatment, either. The delay in charging a Chicago police officer in a fatal shooting in the Laquan McDonald case has defense attorneys as well as prosecutors concerned.

charged with a crime

Public defender Amy P. Campanelli wrote about these concerns in a commentary published in the Chicago Tribune. Here is an excerpt from the opinion piece:

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was quoted as saying that the video that captured the shooting of McDonald was “chilling” and would “tear at the hearts of all Chicagoans.” Her words have proven true, but also true is the skeptical response of the public after this officer was allowed to remain uncharged for more than a year while receiving a full salary.

The delay involved with this case also affects the ability of an accused person to prepare a defense to the charges against him, an issue that I am particularly sensitive to as the public defender.

Campanelli points out that, in order to have confidence in the system, transparency must be present. If a criminal justice system is suspected of a cover-up, it does not bode well for public trust. She goes on to say:
The prosecutor represents all people and their desire for justice. The police are here to serve and protect all people. We cannot afford to allow confidence in their professionalism and the system to deteriorate. With truth, liberty and justice at stake, fair treatment for all in a transparent system is a necessity. Read the whole commentary at the Chicago Tribune.

How politics can interfere with crime charges

Plenty of criminal cases are handled professionally and swiftly. Yet all it takes is one high-profile bungle to spark a media flurry and public ire. See this video report from CNN:

If you are in a situation where you may be charged with a crime, don’t panic or try to delay the process. Swift action on both prosecution and defense sides allow better transparency for all.

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