Acquitted Prosecutor Can Identify with Defendants’ Frequent Complaint
Posted Mar 30, 2011 12:48 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A prosecutor in suburban Chicago can identify with a frequent complaint of the defendants he prosecutes after his own acquittal on charges that he asked public employees do campaign work on county time.
McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi tells the Chicago Tribune that he and his secretary were placed in a holding cell after their arrest. "It was humiliating," he told the newspaper. "Embarrassing. A couple of [inmates] in orange jumpsuits said, 'What did you do?' I said, 'I didn't do anything!' They said, 'That's what we said!'"
Bianchi told the Daily Herald the case won’t change his viewpoint on prosecuting crimes, but it has made him more aware of the possibility of error. “I now know what it's like to be accused falsely of a crime,” he said. “I'll never forget that, and as I mentioned before, I'll take that notion to my grave.”
Bianchi was acquitted last week in a bench trial after the prosecution finished its case. He still faces a separate trial on charges that he offered leniency to defendants in three criminal cases because of their political or family connections, the Tribune says. His secretary was acquitted earlier on charges that she lied to a grand jury and destroyed documents.