The Madison County Record Dec. 17, 2013, 11:48am

To the Editor:

The American Tort Reform Association’s analysis of our local courts suggests in part that the symptoms of “judi-palooza,” a social condition where judges party like rock stars, are indeed present. The question is whether we as citizens have the moral fiber or the intestinal fortitude to look into the eye of this beast that has overtaken our judiciary, our society, and tell it to heel?

Will we citizens demand that our Circuit, Appellate, and Supreme Court Judges are clean and sober while they are sentencing our sons and daughters to life sentences? Or, will we go back to getting ready for next Christmas?

To even suggest that one court is more or less amenable or “friendly” is to suggest that the Illinois Judicial Code of Conduct is worth less than the paper that was used to print or write it.  If a case has merit, that should not be a variable commodity.  Even taking into account the frailty of the human condition, most people know what the right decision is given enough information and justice is best when uniform or blind. Law school does not produce saints or priests, that place is called the monastery.

The arrest of Judge Cook and friends and the subsequent guilty pleas prove that in St. Clair County that justice is for sale. So far, nothing similar has occurred in Madison County but perhaps an investigation should be conducted.  Moreover, the idea that judges are not drug tested is a major flaw in our justice system and I am afraid that none of us know exactly how deep the hellhole goes. Justice may be blind here but it is also high as a kite.

Matt Hawkins

Civic Alliance

East St. Louis

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