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Oppo dumps!

Monday, Feb 7, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Irvin campaign…

An alarming news report revealed that Governor JB Pritzker released two murderers early from prison, both who murdered their young children. These tragedies, coupled with Pritzker’s sweeping changes to criminal justice reform, have diminished public safety in Illinois. As a tough on crime former prosecutor, Richard Irvin responded:

“He’s paroled people early. He paroled a man early that beat his 6-year-old child to death,” Irvin said.

Downstater Kwayera Jackson beat his 5-month-old son to death in 1998, later telling a court he considered it “strength training” for the child.

Alma Durr, of Calumet City, shot her 21-month-old son with a .357 revolver, later blaming “stress.”

Pritzker has quietly commuted 17 sentences since 2020, including 7 violent offenders.

* From that Fox 32 oppo dump story

A spokeswoman for the governor said Pritzker follows closely the recommendations of the state prisoner review board, which remain confidential. Her written statements said:

“Alma Durr served 24 years … both prosecutors and her adult daughter supported her clemency petition.”

“Kwayera Jackson served 21 years. According to publicly available files, he was 18-years-old at the time of the crime and had no criminal history.”

A spokeswoman for Gov. Pritzker’s campaign said it is Irvin, in his private law practice, who has attempted to free notorious criminals accused of offenses such as domestic abuse and drug dealing.

* And then I received this oppo dump about some of Irvin’s clients…

ROBERT BOOKER

Booker Punched His Girlfriend In The Throat And Pushed Her Head Into The Wall. “[Robert Booker] knowingly caused bodily harm to Elizabeth Medina, the girlfriend of the defendant, in that said defendant pushed her head into the wall and struck her in the throat with a closed fist, causing visible signs of distress and difficulty swallowing.” [People of the State of Illinois v Robert Booker, Count 2, 2/27/17]

Booker Beat Male Victim With A Mop. “Robert L. Booker, while committing a battery… knowingly caused great bodily harm to Jonathan C. Rodarte, in that he struck Jonathan in the head several times with the handle of a mop, causing the mop to break and Jonathan to briefly lose consciousness. Jonathan was admitted to Presence Mercy Hospital with signs of a concussion, chipped teeth, and facial lacerations.” [People of the State of Illinois v Robert Booker, Count 1, 2/27/17]

ANDREW SADLER

Sadler Strangled His Girlfriend. “[Andrew Sadler] knowingly caused bodily harm to Christina Aguilar an intimate partner and household member of the defendant as defined by The Illinois Domestic Violence Act, in that he intentionally strangled Christina Aguilar about the neck area by applying pressure on the throat or neck of Christina Aguilar thereby impeding the normal breathing of Christina Aguilar.” [People of the State of Illinois v Andrew Sadler, Count 1, 12/29/16]

Sadler Strangled And Put Pillow Over His Girlfriend’s Face. “[Andrew Sadler] knowingly caused bodily harm to Christina Aguilar, an intimate partner and household member of the defendant, in that said defendant tackled, strangled and placed a pillow over Christina Aguilar’s face preventing her from breathing normally.” [People of the State of Illinois v Andrew Sadler, Count 2, 12/29/16]

Sadler Choked His Girlfriend And Put Pillow Over Her Face. “[Andrew Sadler] knowingly made physical contact of an insulting nature with Christina Aguilar, an intimate partner and household member of the defendant, in that said defendant tackled, choked and placed a pillow over Christina Aguilar’s face preventing her from breathing normally.” [People of the State of Illinois v Andrew Sadler, Count 3, 12/29/16]

Sadler Took His Girlfriend’s Phones To Stop Her From Calling 911. “[Andrew Sadler] knowingly took Christina Aguilar’s (an intimate partner and household member of the defendant) phones and hid them preventing her from calling 911 to report domestic violence.” [People of the State of Illinois v Andrew Sadler, Count 4, 12/29/16]

Sadler “Strangled Her, Slammed Her Body To The Floor.” “[Andrew Sadler] knowingly caused bodily harm to Christin Aguilar, a family or household member of the defendant, in that the defendant tackled her to the floor, strangled her, slammed her body to the floor, and placed a pillow over her face.” [People of the State of Illinois v Andrew Sadler, Count 2, 1/25/17]

SKYLER ELLIS

Ellis “Punched And Hit” Victim In The Face. “[Skyler Ellis] knowingly caused bodily harm to Jalen R Ellis, a family or household member of the defendant, in that said defendant punched and hit Jalen R Ellis in and about the face.” [People of the State of Illinois v Skyler Ellis, Count 1, 1/21/17]

ALEXANDER NUNEZ

Nunez “Kicked” Police Officer On The Face And Shoulder. “[Alexander Nunez] knowingly caused bodily harm to Ofc. Shettles in that he kicked OFC Shettles on the left shoulder and left side of the face, knowing said victim to be a peace officer, while performing his official duties.” [People of the State of Illinois v Alexander Nunez, Count 1, 7/5/16]

Nunez Punched Victim In The Face. “[Alexander Nunez] knowingly caused bodily harm to Moenkemier, Michal J, a family or household member of the defendant, in that said defendant punch Michael in the face with a closed fist.” [People of the State of Illinois v Alexander Nunez, Count 3, 7/5/16]

* Greg Hinz pressed Irvin on this topic the other day

Irvin defended his work as the name partner in a family and criminal defense law firm. According to the firm’s website, it represents, among others, people accused of heroin possession, domestic battery and parents who are in danger of losing their children to state custody because of alleged abuse.

“Listen to me,” Irvin said. Under the U.S. Constitution, a bedrock of our institutions, “every person (is) innocent until proven guilty. I represent the Constitution, but I was also a prosecutor.”

Why, though, do you choose to represent these people? “My job always is to represent the Constitution of the United States of America and Illinois, and that’s exactly what I do: ensure they have due process,” he replied.

…Adding… I should’ve posted this ILGOP release here as well…

Pritzker says he supports police by attending their funerals

Last week, reporters asked Gov. JB Pritzker whether he felt responsible for rising crime in Illinois and for the brutal deaths of police officers since his anti-police, pro-criminal legislation became law.

Pritzker’s response, as reported by the Chicago Tribune:

    “I attend the funerals of police officers. I talk to family members in the wake of the deaths of their loved one who was a first responder,” Pritzker said. “So, no one needs to tell me about the seriousness of the attack that has taken place on a police officer because I feel it, I talk to those people, unfortunately, too regularly. But it’s also one of the important duties of being governor.”

How outrageous and disgusting. JB Pritzker signs the most anti-police legislation in Illinois history while his Prisoner Review Board lets cop-killers out of prison early – and his response to skyrocketing crime and the murders of police officers is to brag about attending the funerals of police officers?

“Governor Pritzker is responsible for the rise of crime in Illinois and to deflect criticism by bragging about his attendance at police funerals is absolutely reprehensible,” ILGOP Chairman Don Tracy said. “Pritzker thinks attending police funerals is one of the important duties of being governor. Well Governor, do you know what’s more important? Supporting police in jailing violent criminals so no one has to attend another funeral. The Governor turned his back on law enforcement and the law-abiding public by signing that anti-police, pro-criminal legislation.”

* More from that Tribune story

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday defended his support for sweeping criminal justice reforms he signed into law last year and dismissed GOP candidate Richard Irvin’s accusation that it played a role in law enforcement officer deaths as unfounded political exaggeration.

“Richard Irvin is exaggerating because he doesn’t really understand the law. It seems like if you’re running for governor, you ought to understand the law. The law that he’s referring to is one that mostly doesn’t go into effect until next year,” Pritzker said of Irvin, the mayor of Aurora and one of five Republicans running for governor.

“He also misunderstands what that law is about. It would keep people in prison who could otherwise afford to get out of prison. These could be very violent criminals. And it allows people who are nonviolent criminals who may be in jail for a petty offense, and just don’t have $100, to get themselves out of jail,” the first-term governor said.

       

33 Comments
  1. - Former Downstater - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:44 pm:

    Any answer that begins with “listen,” or “listen to me” isn’t really an answer. It’s a salvo.


  2. - Google Is Your Friend - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:46 pm:

    If Irvin is all about the Constitution and due process, why is attacking that for people in prison with a chance of release? This is a guy who will say and do anything to get elected apparently


  3. - People’s Republic of Oak Park - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:47 pm:

    There is a major difference between JB and Irvin here- Richard Irvin defends the folks because these people have constitutionally protected right to an attorney and representation.

    JB is commuting sentences is solely at his discretion.

    That difference won’t be seen by voters but should be pointed out.


  4. - AlfondoGonz - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:54 pm:

    Both JB and Irving should know better. Irving shouldn’t open the door to his defense work being scrutinized by attacking JB for exercising his authority to grant clemency, and JB should rise above and not criticize Irving’s then hypocritical defense work.

    People in this country have a right to fierce advocacy. Defense attorney’s play a crucial role in advancing the cause of justice. It’s a shame Irving is pretending to be unaware of that, and a shame JB got down in the mud on this one, too.


  5. - Lord of the Fries - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    Goo! Irvin’s campaign knows he has exposure on this topic. Why do they keep bringing it up!?


  6. - AlfondoGonz - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    People’s Republic of Oak Park

    While I think both JB and Irving are wrong here, your bias is showing.

    Irving was not a Public Defender. He represented his client’s because they paid him to. And private attorneys have discretion in determining which clients to take on.


  7. - Da big bad wolf - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:56 pm:

    === JB is commuting sentences is solely at his discretion.===

    No, nothing “solely” about it, at the recommendation of the state prisoner review board.


  8. - Read the constitution - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:56 pm:

    “My job always is to represent the Constitution of the United States of America and Illinois, and that’s exactly what I do: ensure they have due process.” - Irvin

    Also the constitution: The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

    A constitutional conservative should champion not condemning people to sit in jail awaiting trial for not being able to afford bail, but alas they will more likely fear monger and lie about a bill that has yet to even go into effect.


  9. - OldSmoky2 - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    ==Richard Irvin defends the folks because these people have constitutionally protected right to an attorney and representation.==

    Richard Irvin defends the folks because these people are paying him to represent them.

    There - fixed that for you.


  10. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 12:59 pm:

    ===these people have constitutionally protected right to an attorney and representation.===

    He defended these people because they paid him. He was not a public defender. He used his background as a prosecutor to specifically appeal to defendants with means to pay him. I support the right to representation and I don’t think it’s appropriate to target a criminal defense attorney based off of defending their clients, but lets not pretend Richard Irvin was doing some kind of public service by taking paying clients who violently assaulted their partners and family members.

    At the end of the day, this is the kind of practice Irvin chose to do and the kind of practice that at least appears to have been quite lucrative.


  11. - Not a Superstar - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:01 pm:

    As many people on this blog are well aware, commutations are handed out very rarely. Several times, I have reviewed applications and recommended that (a prior) Governor release an individual or restore their civil rights, based on numerous letters that attest to community support and the convicted person’s significant change over the years, only to be told it wasn’t enough. I hate it when these decisions are used as a political football, because the reasoning can’t be made public.

    That said, it is laughable for Richard Irvin to make excuses when he’s trying to make Pritzker wear the jacket for past misdeeds. Good luck with that.


  12. - Pundent - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:01 pm:

    =Richard Irvin defends the folks because these people have constitutionally protected right to an attorney and representation.=

    Isn’t his choice to be a criminal defense attorney at Irvin’s sole discretion? I mean there are other areas of the law that he could choose to practice. Would we be having this same discussion if he was a patent attorney?


  13. - David Agnew - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:04 pm:

    Solid punch and a cheap but effective counterpunch. The mayor’s answer that he “represents the Constitution” shows his ego. The better answer is: Everyone deserves an effective legal defense in our system. And as someone who was both a prosecutor and a private attorney, I know that JB’s actions here ….


  14. - MisterJayEm - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    “Richard Irvin defends the folks because these people have constitutionally protected right to an attorney and representation.”

    But Irvin was in no way obligated to represent *those* clients. That was entirely a choice that Irvin made of his own free will.

    If you have any doubt, ask Irvin how eagerly he would have represented those defendants and their constitutional rights if they’d told him that they couldn’t pay his fees.

    Irvin made a choice and choices have consequences.

    – MrJM


  15. - Interesting - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:10 pm:

    I am surprised the Governor would bring up the attending funerals of murdered police officers. An inquiring reporter might want to follow up on that with the family of the Champaign police officer who was killed last year. My understanding is that the family specifically asked the Governor not to attend the funeral because his policies do not support the police.


  16. - Anchors Away - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:13 pm:

    Richard Irvin decided to make crime THE one and only issue he wants to talk about. His opening ad was a comically bad 1980’s style Willie Horton mashup and he continues to make ridiculous statements about criminal justice reform. Irvin (or rather Ken Griffin) made the decision to make this campaign about him locking up “gang bangers” and “wife abusers” and specious allegations about the Governor’s crime record.

    If I was in the vaunted Irvin for Governor brain trust I would have eased off the gas on the crime attacks knowing my candidate’s research weaknesses on this front but hey that crew always knows better. But when the inevitable attacks come on Irvin’s defense attorney record, there is absolutely no ground to stand on to say it’s not fair game. YOU made it the game, friend. Good luck.


  17. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:13 pm:

    == But Irvin was in no way obligated to represent *those* clients. That was entirely a choice that Irvin made of his own free will.==

    “Every criminal defendant has a right to a criminal attorney. No criminal defendant has a right to *you*.”


  18. - Pundent - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:26 pm:

    =Irving shouldn’t open the door to his defense work being scrutinized by attacking JB for exercising his authority to grant clemency, and JB should rise above and not criticize Irving’s then hypocritical defense work.=

    Opening the door? His entire campaign to date has been premised on the notion that crime is out of control. Now I’m not saying that is or isn’t an issue, but if you’re going to run on it, as a criminal defense attorney, you better be prepared for the blowback.


  19. - huh? - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:27 pm:

    Looking forward to the Irvin defending a cop beater commercial. You can’t make crime and supporting police your entire campaign when you have that kind of background.


  20. - Amalia - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:34 pm:

    I’m sure it is difficult making the transition from prosecutor to defense attorney. but have some discretion in the clients you choose to give you money for work.


  21. - Primate - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 1:55 pm:

    Lord of the Fries - They want their weaknesses (of their choosing) to be debated now and not around the primary election. This is Rauner campaign strategy 101. Pretty soon, they will hire clowns to follow JB around.


  22. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 2:01 pm:

    This is a bad fight for Irvin. He’s staked so much on “Tough on crime” that he needs to absolutely dominate that issue. A bloody stalemate just won’t be good enough.


  23. - DissapointedVoter - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 2:08 pm:

    Irvin: I sent wife bearers to jail… because they couldn’t afford me!

    Griffin should’ve found a better pawn.


  24. - northsider (the original) - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 2:11 pm:

    If Irwin was doing it “for the Constitution” instead of “for the fees” he could have been a Public Defender.
    He picked his lane.


  25. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 4:21 pm:

    As others have pointed out Richard Irvin made a decision to be a private practice criminal defense attorney. He made the decision to go from prosecuting to defending accused criminals. He wasn’t the first prosecutor to make that decision, nor will he be the last. However, when his raison d’etre for running for Governor is the anti-crime candidate then he opened the door for this type of oppo dump and he’s going to have to address this issue from here on out.

    If I was one of his GOP opponents I’d be raising the question, if he was so concerned about crime, why didn’t he remain a prosecutor, even if that meant he might not be as financially successful as going private practice. It’s almost as though he and his handlers made a strategic decision to make crime his issue and he doesn’t necessarily believe everything he’s saying. That couldn’t be, could it? /s


  26. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 4:23 pm:

    Some lawyers salivate at the prospect of representing drug traffickers…especially successful drug dealers with cash and property to offer…in payment for another good deal…one including the right lawyers in the right courtroom with the right Judge…minus the wrong witnesses.


  27. - JoanP - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 4:44 pm:

    All of you who are on Irvin’s case about representing defendants in criminal cases and saying “he should have been a public defender”, answer me this:

    Who should represent people charged with crimes who are not eligible for public defenders?


  28. - The Velvet Frog - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 4:51 pm:

    ==he should have been a public defender==
    I don’t think anyone is saying that. They’re pointing out his specific combination of stone throwing and glass house living.


  29. - Pundent - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 4:52 pm:

    =If I was one of his GOP opponents I’d be raising the question, if he was so concerned about crime, why didn’t he remain a prosecutor, even if that meant he might not be as financially successful as going private practice.=

    The Nunez case would seem particularly hard to explain since it involved the defendant kicking a police officer. Doesn’t really square with his back the blue rhetoric now does it? I mean if the ILGOP is going to criticize Pritzker for attending the funeral of cops, you would think they’d be even more outraged by the defense attorneys who try to keep people who assault cops out of jail.


  30. - Arsenal - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 5:25 pm:

    ==Who should represent people charged with crimes who are not eligible for public defenders? ==

    Someone who’s not gonna turn around and try to get elected on the basis that the state is too lenient to criminals.

    Boy, you really thought you had something there, didn’t ya?


  31. - Jenny Clark - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 6:45 pm:

    Irvin preaches constitution while cashing the check. So far his campaign is doing him a real disservice while they cash their checks.


  32. - JoanP - Monday, Feb 7, 22 @ 10:44 pm:

    Still waiting for anyone to answer the question.


  33. - 47th and Lake Park - Tuesday, Feb 8, 22 @ 4:59 pm:

    And this is the best guy Griffin could buy for $100M? Talk about your shallow pool.


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