Archive for illinois

Prison Guard Beats Inmate And Illinois Must Pay


prison violence

The headline in HuffPo reads:

James Degorski, Man Who Killed 7 At Brown's Chicken Restaurant, Awarded $451,000 In Civil Suit

So I was interested to see how a convicted killer was awarded money. Could it be related to his murdering 7 innocent people? I didn't think so but I had to read on.

CHICAGO (AP) — A former handyman serving life in prison for the 1993 murder of seven people at a suburban Chicago restaurant has been awarded nearly a half-million dollars in a civil lawsuit in which he alleged a jail guard punched him in the face.

Degorski, now 41, accused a Cook County Jail guard of punching him and breaking his cheekbone and eye socket in 2002.

As it turns out, this was really not about the inmate's crime, but about the inmate's treatment. His abuse. His being deprived of his civil rights.  Degorski's attorney put it this way:

"I think it's a beautiful day for civil rights when a jury can put aside emotions and say we are all entitled to our civil rights," she said. "It's about protecting the constitutional rights of the least among us."

Well, I'm not so sure that it's a beautiful day, but I do feel strongly that we have constitutional rights which, contrary to popular opinion, are not relinquished when someone's sentenced to prison.

Why should we care, or more importantly why should a jury care to the tune of nearly half a million bucks?

Simple. We have the eighth amendment which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The jury heard the facts, the details of this brutal attack on a brutal man who was in his care. Yet a prison sentence doesn't give the guards the right to dispatch their own kind of justice. Guards are there to serve the justice system, not create their own. And this guard evidently thought he could. Now the state must pay, which means the people of Illinois have to cough up half a mil for this crime.

If it seems like I'm taking the side of a killer, you're wrong. I'm taking the side of justice. We can't allow people behind bars to become animals, pets, treated unkindly by brutal guards. If we do, there's no chance at rehabilitation. I don't think prison should become a vacation spot, but basic human rights shouldn't be denied, either.

This prisoner who was beaten could just as easily been incarcerated for fixing the books at a financial institution or possession of a controlled substance. His crime got him put there for just punishment, not to become a guard's punching bag. But this guard took justice into his own hands, abused it and a jury found him guilty. Hopefully he will lose his job for this. But most certainly, the good and innocent people of Illinois will be covering the tab. Perhaps that's the real injustice in this case.


Republican Candidate for Illinois Governor 'Not Being Gay' with 'that man'


From the alternate world of Republican 'wide stance' reality...a cross post from our wonderful friend Anomaly at FreakOutNation.



Republican candidate for Gov: I was not being gay with that man. We were double-bunking to save money

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, an unmarried 58-year-old and Republican candidate for governor, regularly stayed overnight in hotels and a Chicago apartment with his executive assistant, The Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday. But he can explain all of that.

Image: Chicago Tribune

Image: Chicago Tribune

Rutherford told the Tribune that he has shared a room with his executive assistant, Joshua Lanning, scores of times since taking office in 2011, to save money for his campaign fund. And we totally believe him.

Image; Gawker

Image: Gawker

Here  is Rutherfod saving money on the beach and not being gay with Lanning. 

Rutherford said, “We double-bunk in the campaign. We always double-bunk when we can. Totally as a cost-saving measure.”

Being a good fiscal Conservative, Rutherford shared a room with Lanning at at least 50 times between 2011 and mid-2012. During that same time, the two also shared hotel rooms at least a half-dozen times while traveling on state business, including overnights in Chicago, Bloomingdale and Danville, and billed the state, according to records.

Speaking of 2011, Ed Michalowski, claimed in federal court that Rutherford made unwanted sexual advances toward him beginning in 2011.

Rutherford was sued in federal court on Monday by Michalowski, a former top manager in the office who accused the treasurer of repeatedly sexually harassing him and pressuring him to do campaign work at taxpayer expense. The ex-employee is seeking damages, including for medical issues he said were caused by the alleged harassment.

Rutherford tried to explain the expenses and accommodations to the Tribune saying, ”A constitutional officer travels overseas and has a staff member that accompanies them is not something that I think is inappropriate.”

He added, “There’s nothing wrong with being friends with employees. I consider myself friends with many in the office.”


God Unleashes Disasters, Dementia, and Autism. Why? LGBT Rights.



Yes, friends, read the headline again. It's not a joke. It's for real. And that's what cuckoo-bird-crazy U.S. Congressional candidate Susanne Atanus had to say to the the editorial board of the Chicago Daily Herald in her interview for their endorsement. This Republican candidate is running against incumbent Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

According to TPM Livewire:

If you're afflicted with autism or dementia, or if you've lost your worldly possessions due to a tornado, Susanne Atanus thinks you should blame the LGBT community.

"We are provoking Him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions,” she said. “Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it’s in our military, it will weaken our military. We need to respect God.”

Okay now, you LGBT folks, Stop it! Stop it right now! No more hurricanes or polar vortexes, and don't you go putting the dementia hex on any of us! And while you're at it, how about removing the autism you caused. I don't know how you did it, but if you women-hating,  minority loathing, gay-bashing Republicans say you LGBT people did this, you must have. The Tea Party doesn't lie.

A moment of reality here. Yesterday I wrote about a crazy man in the Tea Party, a candidate for Florida state's legislation, Joshua Black, who tweeted and Facebooked that Obama should be hung for treason. If you missed it, it's here, with video: FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PROPOSES OBAMA LYNCHING. Now we get this in Illinois. What state is going to be next?

Are the Republicans really this extreme? I think in many cases, yes. There are some who border on sanity, but they're becoming harder and harder to find. Hopefully this is a wake-up call to both parties. We've got to pay more attention to who our candidates are and what they represent. Could anyone really support a candidate like Sussane Atanus? You bet your ass. She's currently an outlier, but she and her ilk are starting to become the rule. This is scary. And we need to rally our votes before these nutsos are making the rules for the rest of us.


Undying Dedication To A Cause


Naomi Jakobsson,

She said goodbye to her terminally ill son as she fled off to the state house to cast her vote for a cause that she and her family felt so strongly about-- legalizing same-sex marriage.

Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, a Champaign Illinois Democrat, rushed to the state capitol in Springfield to vote on the measure. With her support, the bill was approved with 61 votes in favor -- only one more than the minimum it needed in order to pass. It was her vote that mattered.

When Jakobsson returned to the Mattoon, Ill. hospice where her dying son, Garret, was staying after a 90-minute drive, she learned he had died just 10 minutes before her arrival, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Garret had seven brothers and sisters. He and his wife, Liz, also had a 10-year-old son named Gunnar. Garret was adopted from South Korea in 1968, according to the AP.

All of Garret's family was with him as he took his last breaths are reportedly slipped away peacefully. But how tragic that his mother couldn't be with him for the end. She put courage, faith and compassion above family. She is a true Democrat. Is there one Republican who would have done the same?

It was reported that it was Jakobsson's son Garrett who told his mother to go to cast her vote. If it wasn't something so meaningful, she'd never have left his side. She left with hopes she could go, vote, and return in time. That sadly was not going to be the case.

There are a lot of people in Illinois, today and in the future, who owe their happiness to Representative Naomi Jakobsson. A truer champion for the LGBT cause would be hard to find.

Condolences to the family and congratulations to the state to have such a dedicated civil servant.