How Chicago Poses a Grave Threat to the American Republic

November 29, 2023
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Part II

Being an attorney who actually defends the Constitution in Illinois is a lonely pursuit, rife with condemnation from the rest of the legal and political swamp currently in power.

However, every now and then, someone emerges from Illinois' cesspool to do just that. Special prosecutors Maria McCarthy and Fabio Valenti recently stood before Will County Judge Donald Carlson arguing that their client, former Chicago Police Detective Kriston Kato, was the victim of a renegade, utterly illegal institution created by one of the most corrupt state legislatures in the country.

The attorneys argued in a motion that a state agency created in 2009, the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission (TIRC), was an unconstitutional infringement on the judiciary, an argument that, if embraced by the courts, could have far reaching impact on Illinois.

Through the state legislature, members of TIRC have been granted the authority to overturn murder convictions that had long been settled in the courts. An obvious and early example of the left-wing's politicization of the justice system, any first-year law student could recognize TIRC represented a blatant breakdown of the three branches of government.

Judge Carlson did not rule on the constitutionality issue, saying that decision may come in another legal venue. Carlson’s statement, however, may indicate the battle over TIRC is headed to other, potentially higher courts. Carlson nevertheless admitted the constitutional shortcomings of TIRC.

“The act itself skirts very closely to the edge of constitutionality. It also calls into question whether or not the TIRC statute in and of itself impugns the integrity of the judicial system of the third branch of government."


McCarthy is the second attorney in the last few years to challenge TIRC. Attorney Ed Theobald challenged TIRC’s legitimacy in a federal lawsuit emerging after TIRC paved the way for an offender in an infamous 1982 police double murder case. A motion that was ignored by the entire media, the judge in that case waited nearly two years before rejecting Theobald’s arguments.

Carlson’s attacks on TIRC seem to contradict the federal judge’s doubt about TIRC.

In his ruling, Carlson also dismissed two cases against Kato arising from TIRC, claiming TIRC’s ruling that the claims by two convicted murderers should be sent back to the courts were “insufficient.” It should be troubling to every citizen in Illinois when the justice system rules people are guilty of murder, but TIRC arbitrarily declares the cases should be taken up yet again by the courts. Who and what is in control of the justice system?

Carlson’s ruling refuted the heated attacks against McCarthy when she filed the motion challenging the legitimacy of the commission.

“You have the right to defend a conviction if you believe that it deserves defending, you have no right to file frivolous arguments to delay proceedings, line your pockets, and compound the suffering of my client,” attorney Jennifer Bonjean wrote to McCarthy in an email immediately after McCarthy filed the motion, according to Chicago City Wire.


McCarthy called Bonjean’s statements “unprofessional and unwarranted,” according to Chicago City Wire.

Carlson’s statements about the constitutionality of TIRC bolster McCarthy’s arguments and motives despite the attacks by Bonjean.

As TIRC’s legitimacy potentially winds its way through the courts, it is equally compelling to cite and explore one statistic: TIRC was created in 2009 and only in the last few years has any serious challenge to its authority emerged in the political or legal arena.

It is a sordid story of failure.

TIRC was created in large part through the efforts of Kwame Raoul in 2009 in the wake of allegations that former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge tortured confessions from African American suspects. In order to push the case against Burge, Raoul ignored massive evidence that at least some of the cases against Burge were false, including the Madison Hobley case. Hobley, convicted of setting a fire that killed seven people, was freed from prison by a corrupt governor. No judicial proceeding had ever ruled in his innocence.

That legislators like Raoul could ignore the overwhelming evidence against a man in a crime that killed seven people and then ignore the basic tenets of the Constitution by Raoul in creating TIRC was an early indicator of how Chicago would lead the way in corrupt methods to wage war on the police, a method of the left now on display throughout the country.

But surely, at some point, Raoul was held accountable by some fellow legislators. Surely some elected officials reviewed the TIRC statute and observed the constitutional abuses it enshrined.

Not one. In fact, Raoul, a founding member of this legal monstrosity, is now the attorney general for Illinois, the highest criminal justice position in the state. Raoul’s ascendency to this position is yet another example that obeying party factions, not merit, is the key to career success in Chicago.

Raoul’s timing to sponsor TIRC could not have been better. Then-Governor Pat Quinn had already proven himself, like his predecessor George Ryan, a stooge for the exoneration movement. By the time his administration was in its final moments, he was furiously releasing convicted killers, going so far as to release a man convicted of attempting to murder four Chicago police officers, three of whom were wounded.

Let’s move on, then, as the demise of Illinois, while dark and depressing, is important to understand the survival of the larger republic.

In 2009, Judge Paul Biebel appointed special prosecutors to handle the deluge of Burge lawsuits that has now become Chicago’s most prolific cottage industry. A boon for “defense” attorneys and convicted killers, all that it took by 2009 to generate a massive settlement from the city of Chicago in a lawsuit was to get a witness to change their statement, an allegation that the detectives who worked the case once worked with Burge and a compliant and corrupt media to run two or three stories about it. This followed by a few doting broadcasts from “investigative journalists” on  major networks who clearly hadn’t even read the court files.

With the advent of TIRC, the exoneration industry became yet another key revenue stream in the instances when attorneys and their media lapdogs failed to exonerate convicts through the courts. TIRC served as a new venue when the pesky mountains of evidence claiming a maniac gangbanger was the “victim” of police abuse.

Not to fear, the attorneys appointed as special prosecutors in the Burge cases immediately challenged the constitutionality of TIRC, right? They staved off the inevitable flood of cases from TIRC that were returned to the courts by simply addressing the constitutional absurdities that gave the commission life. They “defended” accused detectives by undermining a clearly mendacious commission making vicious allegations against the police.

Therefore, what if these special prosecutors, like the attorneys representing the inmates claiming innocence, stood to make enormous sums of money from TIRC cases? They, like the officers, are sworn to uphold the Constitution. Money has nothing to do with it, right?

Well, the grand challenge never came from the special prosecutors. No legal challenges, no statements to the media attacking the statute, no motions on behalf of the accused cops claiming TIRC was unconstitutional.

Well, ok. There are myriad checks and balances built into the system. More opportunities to challenge TIRC remained on the horizon. The next step in the exoneration industry — the filing of massive lawsuits against the detectives by the newly freed gang member — provided a key opportunity by law firms contracted by the city to defend the attorneys.

Surely this group went on the offensive in their promise to represent the accused detectives, right? Surely they recognized the breakdown of the political and legal system TIRC represented and marched into court questioning the constitutionality of TIRC. No doubt these educated and trusted legal representatives recognized that when they marched into Chicago City Council chambers and recommended a massive settlement in a case that had dragged on for years and contained one argument after another blasting the decision to release a criminal in the first place, surely then they recognized how vapid these arguments on behalf of settling would appear if they did not challenge the clear illegitimacy of TIRC.

Forget about it. As these city attorneys “defending” the detectives allowed cases to drag on, the legal bills for their services mounted, none of them challenged the legitimacy of TIRC the way McCarthy did in defending Detective Kato.

Well, that refusal to do so is not the end of the story. In the previous administration of the union that represents police officers in Chicago, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, tasked the lawyers who work for the union to review TIRC’s legitimacy and begin the long road of attacking the statute before even more of its members would be tossed under the revolutionary bus that gave it life.

Forget about that, too. In a bizarre mish mash of legal jargon, the attorneys said TIRC was legitimate, an opinion immediately rejected by another attorney tasked with reviewing the statute. What an opportunity to drive a spike through the anti-police movement by the entity charged with representing the police squandered by the very institution charged with representing law enforcement personnel.

There is one more stage to this cruel, pathetic farce. TIRC could likely never have been created in a two-party system. The dominance of the Democratic Party in Chicago, Cook County, and Illinois resembles a Soviet-like outpost more and more every day, complete with a ministry of propaganda disguised as journalism. Nevertheless, there are loud, supposedly conservative voices in the state, ranting endlessly about examples of corruption.

Certainly, these voices, often echoing the cries for a restoration of constitutional principles in the political system, rose in unison to decry the creation of TIRC and its decisions about killers and rapists.

Forget about it. The so-called conservatives in Illinois turned their back on the police decades ago. The hard work of truly reforming Illinois appears too difficult and risky for them, even as Illinois poses a larger threat to the federal system.

And there you have it, not only a blatant sell out of the legislation to a radical movement rife with corruption and revolutionary motives, but also a refusal of nearly every party with the power to stop it refusing to do so, save two attorneys working in Will County.

Heroes are found in the most unlikely places, but Maria McCarthy and Fabio Valenti certainly have earned the title.

Well done.

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