She won re-election with ease in November and was said not long ago to be in line for a judgeship.OK, I excerpted a lot more than I intended to here.
But in the past two weeks, Alvarez has suffered two major embarrassments.
Last week, a special prosecutor announced an indictment against Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko, a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, for involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of David Koschman — a case in which Alvarez had declined to file charges, saying there wasn’t enough evidence. Alvarez also argued that an outside prosecutor wasn’t needed. Now, the grand jury led by special prosecutor Dan K. Webb, a former U.S. attorney appointed by a judge, continues to investigate whether criminal charges should be filed against anyone from Alvarez’s office or the Chicago Police Department over their handling of the case.
The second embarrassment for Alvarez came Sunday on national television. A CBS “60 Minutes” segment, recorded six months ago, put a spotlight on Cook County as the capital of documented false confessions. The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an inquiry into the interrogation practices in Cook County.
At one point in the program, Peter Neufeld, co-director of the Innocence Project in New York, said that in one case, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office suggested in court that necrophilia was a possible reason why the DNA of a convicted rapist was found inside the victim.
A group of kids were charged with the crime after confessing.
The “60 Minutes” interviewer asked Alvarez: “It’s possible that this convicted rapist wandered past an open field and had sex with a 14-year-old girl who was dead?”
Alvarez: “Well, there’s all kinds of possibilities out there, and what I’m saying is we don’t know what happened.”
Reached by phone Monday, Neufeld said though the interrogations happened under a different regime, Alvarez’s remarks showed she is unwilling to change practices.
“Frankly, there’s not a lot of difference between her saying necrophilia is a possibility in this case and saying the earth is flat,” Neufeld said. “For the state’s attorney to simply get up there and say, no, we have more confidence in the aggressive interrogations of teenage boys than to DNA hits to these offenders with known MOs — it indicates a lack of fitness to the job.”
Anyway, Alvarez's supposed star isn't shining so brightly these days. Neufeld might as well have said that she represents the status quo!
BTW over at the Capitol Fax in light of a surprising federal appelate court ruling regarding firearms in Illinois he pointed out Alvarez's position on guns from 2008. She sounded as if anyone caught with a gun will be prosecuted because in her words, no one should ever own a gun! Of course he noted this in light of the fact that Trotter will face felony charges in his arrest last week for posessing a handgun at O'Hare. Interesting times we're seeing right now!