To the Editor:
If I were given a free hand to reform the trial courts in Illinois, this is what I would do:
I would eliminate the standing bench and prosecutorial bar. Instead, the chief justice of each circuit would have a list of all the attorneys authorized to practice there. When a case came to court, a name would be selected at random from the list, and that attorney would service as judge on that case. Prosecutors, public defenders and guardians ad litem would be chosen in the same way.
Under this arrangement, the jobs of chief justice and the state’s attorney would be purely administrative, with the exception that the state’s attorney would still have the power to initiate court actions on the state’s behalf, and to conduct grand jury investigations.
All of the attorneys thus drafted to serve would be paid commensurately, according to a scale set by the state legislature. The chief justice and the state’s attorney would draw salaries. A system like this would, in my opinion, eliminate most of the corruption and favoritism that currently plagues the trial courts in Illinois.
After all, how often does one hear complaints of juror misconduct?