Another Bad Guy


I’ve mentioned before in past posts that I am an advocate for  animals in the court system in the metro area of Chicago.  Often, I go to court, and there isn’t much of a case.  Or, rather, there might be were there more evidence.  I keep reminding people that  real court is not like what is portrayed on TV.  Law & Order comes close, as the District Attorney’s office is always sending investigators to get more evidence…but that’s not really how it is.  Even, so, that is more realistic than the courtroom scenes.

In Chicago, the courtrooms are dark (or at least have very low lighting), and the acoustics are horrible.   You usually can’t hear the judge nor the attorneys..  You have to hang around and catch the prosecuting attorneys when there is a break.  Often, they barely have any facts, because NEVER is a case ready to go to trial.

Today was typical. I was emailed the day before that there might be an indictment…but the case hadn’t been given to a grand jury yet.  The  police in charge of animal crimes said there was enough evidence.  Today the bad guy was told he’d be indicted in a few weeks. Another court date.  The bad guy did have a private attorney.

I am not sure who turned the guy in, but he was charged with 4 counts of aggravated cruelty, 1 count of promoting dog fighting both felonies, 4 counts of ‘neglect of owners duties’, and 1 count of drug paraphernalia (paraphernalia I expect will be dropped).

He was still in custody, so bail ($200,000 bond, bail would be $20,000) had not been met.  He  had a small support section of 4 mature adults (relatives?)  who stood up when he was arraigned.  That was it for today, I was in court less than 20 minutes. So…

We have a lot of questions, but according to a Tribune article, police confiscated 4 emaciated dogs that were chained in the basement, and there  were several puppies on the main floor. It was  also reported that somebody paid him to  stage fights, and the neighbors  said he was a popular guy.  I am afraid this is another uneducated victim of the system, and he needed the money…and he really doesn’t have a consciousness about dog fighting or cruelty.   However, he is a known gang member, and  has had other arrests. The dogs were taken to Chicago Animal Care and Control as evidence, and hopefully  the owner will forfeit them, and they will be evaluated for  placement as pets.

If we want to stop this, we really have to address educational and job  opportunities in low income communities.  I am not defending dog fighting.  I am  suggesting what is now known as ‘restorative justice’, as a way to  deal with cruelty.

We also have to come to the realization that  an awful lot of people have a lot of violence in their lives, and  they  don’t give  cruelty a second thought.  They are not Buddists. In fact, most are Christians.  This is their reality.  Right now, the only  person who wins in this kind of case is the private attorney.  Not you, me, or the dogs.  & we have to face it:  there is a whole subculture that loves to gamble, and  they  don’t mind seeing animals tear each other apart.  As long as we are a meat eating and fur wearing nation, this will remain hard to address.

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