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Nov. 7: Vote No on Corrupt pro-cop Judge John Norrissey

As both a prosecutor and judge, John Morrissey has consistently defended even the most extreme police abuse. Police accountability groups argue he should not be retained on November 7.
Cook County Judge John Morrissey, along with dozens of other judges, is up for reelection in Cook County on Nov. 11. While most sitting judges are routinely retained, police accountability activists argue that Morrisey should be voted out of office because he has consistently defended even the most extreme police abuse.

Sitting judges who receive less than sixty percent of the vote yes vote on retention questions are not retained. Because many fewer voters typically cast ballots on judicial retention than for other offices, a mobilized and organized constituency typically can exercise considerable weight in the ballot box. Morrissey opponents note, however, that members of the Fraternal Order of Police will likely be reminded by FOP brass to turn out big for their friend on election day.

It's not surprising that the FOP would want to see Morrissey retained. According to the Aaron Patterson Defense Committee and the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, throughout his career as a Cook County States' Attorney and later as a judge, Morrissey has consistently taken the side of brutal cops or disregarded or suppressed evidence of innocence of defendents.

CCDBR and the APDC point to several examples of Morrissey's bias and disregard for due process and basic fairness. For example, police accountability activists report that during his tenure as a state's attorney, Morrissey along with another State's Attorney helped put an innocent man in jail for rape and murder. CCDBR and the APDC report that in the case of Steven Linscott, Morrissey and his co-counsel mistated evidence to a jury. The Illinois Appellate Court found the prosecutors' errors to be so egregious that the court overturned the conviction. Mr. Linscott is now a free man.

As a judge, Morrissey ridiculed a defense attorney motion to have evidence tested using new DNA techniques, saying, "what would that accomplish". Fortunately for the defendant, the appellate court forced Judge Morrissey to turn over evidence from the court file to be tested. The results proved the defendant innocent.

In the case of Aaron Patterson, a man tortured at Area 2 police headquarters under the command of now fired commander Jon Burge, Mr. Patterson used a paper clip to etch messages into a metal bench in the interrogration room detailing his abuse. In those etchings, Patterson refers to abuse that included being suffocated by a plastic typewriter cover and being threatened with a gun.

Judge Morrissey's response to the evidence was typical. He excluded the etchings from the trial. Because the jury never saw this evidence, when the detectives who tortured Patterson got on the witness stand and claimed Patterson confessed, defense counsel was unable to produce contradictory evidence for the jury to consider.

Patterson is among the best known of the Illinois Death Row Ten, death row inmates -- several of whom, along with Patterson, were victims of police torture at the hands of Burge or his henchmen -- who have argued they were wrongfully convicted.

Background info on Morrissey provided by the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights, 312-312-939-0675, and the Aaron Patterson Defense Committee, 312-409-4076.



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