State of Illinois "Either-Or" clause

State of Illinois “Either-Or” clause

In Illinois’ preliminary hearing statute, there is what’s called the “either-or” clause. A preliminary hearing is where the prosecutor presents accumulated “evidence” before a judge so the judge can determine whether the evidence is sufficient enough to proceed the person accused to trial. If the judge determines the evidence is insufficient, the charges are dismissed, and the prosecutor can only re-charge the accused if NEW evidence is used. However, this statue contains language that gives prosecutors the option of not giving the hearing, so long as a grand jury indicts the accused. A grand jury is also presented with the potential evidence by the prosecutor, in hopes that they deem the evidence enough to proceed to trial. Thing is, grand jurors are people of the community who aren’t trained in law, so to allow them to decide to charge a patron instead of a judge, who IS trained in law, should not be constitutional. Prosecutors purposefully use this procedure over the preliminary hearing because they know that 90% of their charges wouldn’t proceed to trial if a law-competent patron decides the outcome. Moreso, because, what’s at stake is dismissal of charges, WITHOUT the chance of recharging using the same evidence, knowing the same percent of the evidence is falsified! This is a major reason why unlawful incarcerations occur! Grand jurors should only be composed of people trained in law, so prosecutors wouldn’t use ignorance of law against anyone. Let’s start a petition to abolish this language by mandating preliminary hearings, and mandating grand jurors to possess prerequisite law degrees, AND, be from the same community as the accused. Any questions (or thoughts), use the address or txt service on this page to contact me. Blessings to all.

Photo by Conny Schneider on Unsplash

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