In Illinois judges are selected by vote or by temporary appointment of the Illinois Supreme Court. To be retained every few years, they must garner 60 % of the vote. There is no requirement for judicial training, no college for judges, and no certification for judges. Its kind of like a physician with a few years experience in family practice being allowed to do brain surgery, open heart surgery, or psychiatry. The result is disaster. Even when all the legal societies evaluate and rate judges it is useless. In 15 years or more, no judge has been removed from office by vote, even if rated as unqualified by all legal societies. It is worse than a joke. It is scary! The Bill of Rights means NOTHING in Illinois.
The Constitution means NOTHING in Illinois. Democracy means NOTHING in Illinois. The innocent are convicted. The guilty are free. The mentally ill are neglected and abused. The abused are kicked when they are down. The poor have no hope and are scapegoats. The rich and powerful are unfettered in their greed and inhumanity. Bullies, thieves, sociopaths infect the ranks of prosecutor’s offices, honorable police departments, and correctional departments.
If you don’t believe this then read this and view the evidence here.
I offer the following solution:
Judges in Illinois should be appointed by a panel of 9 persons. Five must be law professors who question the candidates as if they were defending a dissertation to make sure they have the fund of knowledge and intellect necessary to be a judge. Three of the panel would be citizens from different walks of life (doctors, accountants, tradesmen [like “Joe the Plumber”] and housewives). One would be a politician. The law school deans would have a rotating responsibility to appoint the law professors. Public interest groups would have a rotating responsibility to appoint the citizens. The Governor would appoint the politician.
There would be developed a College for Judges which awards a diploma or certificate after one year. No judge could take the bench unless he was certified.
Perhaps, then we might move Illinois from [in] justice and the fact that it presently is a totalitarian police state where judges are influenced by politics, corrupt prosecutors, and police, rather than by the Bill of Rights, to the fair and honorable democracy that we all dream of.