Cook County Prosecutor Quits After 20 Years Because Soft-on-Crime, Soros-Funded State’s Attorney
Category: News & PoliticsVia: s • 4 weeks ago • 20 comments
CHICAGO — A 20-year veteran prosecutor walked out of the Cook County state’s attorney’s office for the last time on Friday.
Jason Poje, a long-time felony trial attorney for the office, entered his two-week notice on April 21. But before he moved on to the next chapter of his life, Poje sent a goodbye email to 85 colleagues late Friday afternoon.
In his farewell, Poje extended thanks and appreciation to his colleagues. And he explained why he decided to leave the office — and the state. Here’s what he wrote:
After 20 years, I always kind of figured an email like this would start with “It is with a heavy heart that I leave…” The truth is, I can’t get out of here fast enough.
Let me start with the positive. There is not a single day that has gone by that I have not felt truly honored to work with such an incredible group of people who spent every waking hour on behalf of victims. This opportunity has been a gift for which I have no words to explain the extent of my gratitude.
My partners, our Victim/Witness advocates, our Investigators, our support staff, the police officers and detectives, time after time I see each of you putting everything you have into helping people we encounter on the worst days of their lives. So often I see our personal lives, and indeed at times our own well-being, set aside just to do a little bit more on that last case for that last victim. It’s been nothing short of inspiring not as a lawyer, but as a person.
And yet, I’m leaving. Why could that be? The simple fact is that this State and County have set themselves on a course to disaster. And the worst part is that the agency for whom I work has backed literally every policy change that had the predicable, and predicted, outcome of more crime and more people getting hurt.
Bond reform designed to make sure no one stays in jail while their cases are pending with no safety net to handle more criminals on the streets, shorter parole periods, lower sentences for repeat offenders, the malicious and unnecessary prosecution of law enforcement officers, overuse of diversion programs, intentionally not pursuing prosecutions for crimes lawfully on the books after being passed by our legislature and signed by a governor, all of these so-called reforms have had a direct negative impact, with consequences that will last for a generation.
Many years ago my family found a nice quiet corner of the suburbs. Now my son, who is only 5, hears gunfire while playing at our neighborhood park, and a drug dealer is open-air selling behind my house (the second one in two years). If it were just me to consider, I’d stick it out. I’ve been through stupid State’s Attorney policies before. But this Office’s complete failure to even think for a moment before rushing into one popular political agenda after another has put my family directly in harm’s way.
The current people in charge of this state, including the [State’s Attorney’s Office] suffer from a fundamental misunderstanding…we live in a society with adversarial court and criminal justice processes. Defense attorneys, legal aid clinics, Public Defenders, defendant advocate groups…they fight like hell to protect the rights of criminal defendants. And they should. Their work is as noble as our’s. But we have an obligation to fight like hell on behalf of the People. It should go without saying that this must be done ethically and evenhandedly. When both sides vigorously defend their positions, a balance is reached between protecting rights while preserving some sort of order and safety. Once we start doing too much of the defense’s job, once we pull our punches, once we decide that it’s worth risking citizens’ lives to have a little social experiment, that balance is lost. The unavoidable consequences are what we are witnessing in real time, an increase in crime of all kinds, businesses and families pulling up stakes, and the bodies piling up; the whole time with a State’s Attorney who insists that there is nothing to see here, and if there is it must be someone else’s fault. And then they wonder why they cannot retain experienced prosecutors or even hire new ones…it’s because any true prosecutor recognizes the importance of this balance, and that they will not be permitted to be a prosecutor under this administration.
I will not raise my son here. I am fortunate enough to have the means to escape, so my entire family is leaving the State of Illinois. I grew up here, my family and friends are here, and yet my own employer has turned it into a place from which I am no longer proud to be, and in which my son is not safe.
To everyone in the trenches in the State’s Attorney’s Office and in law enforcement, my one regret is that I cannot be at your side anymore as you continue to fight the good fight. I do not envy the task you have before you, but you have my utmost respect for carrying on. I hope one day you are successful at returning some kind of common sense and security to our communities.
Thank you all so much for this opportunity to serve. I will treasure every moment of this chapter in my life. Be safe, be well, fight hard.Jason F. Poje
Assistant State’s Attorney
Poje is not the first state’s attorney staffer to put their departing thoughts in writing.
Natosha Toller, the office’s well-respected chief of criminal prosecutions, announced her sudden departure in an email last February. High-profile supervising prosecutor James Murphy followed her out the door in July after firing off an email that reflected on the office’s mission and offered a blistering appraisal of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
Foxx herself announced last month that she will not seek reelection in 2024.
A better answer than making laws against gun possession, refusing to enforce those laws, and then demanding more laws that won’t be enforced?
What's your answer to crime in Illinois?
Shared prosperity and birth control.
hared prosperity and birth control.
Hasn't worked for the Democrats controlling Chicago for the last 50 years, maybe the next 50 will see so many leave or get murdered they can start over. .
To much wealth concentration.
No one is forcing rich leftists/Democrats to stay rich. They can simply stop using all deductions and tax breaks and pay the full amount they owe to the government. If that doesn't work then they can donate whatever is left to charity- there are countless ones out there that would be more than willing to take the money.
To many people having children they can't afford, don't need and view them as a financial means of existence.
Spoken like a loyal member of the CCP. Forced indoctrination camps do work. Why not simply force sterilize people? That will stop those that can't afford it from having kids! Besides there are millions of illegal immigrants coming in to make up any loss of US population.
He’s basically arguing to sterilize minorities to solve the murder problem.
He’s basically arguing to sterilize minorities
Wasn't that the original goal of Planned parenthood? isn't that why they are predominately located in minority neighborhoods?
What's old is new again.
So maybe they should make stealing legal (they pretty much already have). That should help share in the prosperity.
I don't know how this ends without rational minded voters.
Chicago just went from the frying pan to the fire.
At the end of the day people get the government they deserve, and the people who suffer most from gun violence vote for politicians who do the most to enable it. It’s sad to see.
Analysis of Eleven Jurisdictions Confirms: Bail Reform Does Not Cause Increased Crime Rates
As the Illinois Supreme Court hears oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Pretrial Fairness Act, it is vital to remember that abolition of money bail – and the decreased jail populations that will follow it – is a safe, just, and effective public policy. A new research report from the Guggenheim Foundation is the latest in a long series of evidence-based studies that confirm that bail reform does not cause an increase in crime and, in fact, strengthens communities.
In January 2023, Don Stemen and David Olson for the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation published a report entitled, “ Is Bail Reform Causing an Increase in Crime? ” This report investigated eleven different jurisdictions that had reformed their bail systems in some way, and ultimately found that these policies had no impact on the levels of violent and nonviolent crime. The report suggests that pretrial reforms such as “reducing pretrial detention and eliminating money considerations” do not negatively impact public safety and, in fact, “improve the [overall] well-being of communities most impacted by crime.” Because the vast majority of people who are held in pretrial detention are there because they are unable to pay, pretrial bail reforms are an important step in dismantling an unfair system that penalizes poor defendants, many of whom are Black and Brown people.
Though critics argue that bail reform makes communities less safe, Stemen and Olson’s analysis of multiple studies shows that there is no evidence supporting that claim. Stemen and Olson note the types and scope of bail reforms that have been implemented in eleven different jurisdictions across the United States. Including, for example:
- In Harris County, Texas, a 2019 judicial rule states that defendants charged with a misdemeanor may not be required to pay more than $100 in bail. As a result, “87% of misdemeanor defendants were released pretrial” compared to 60% before the rule went into effect. Although the percentage of defendants who were charged with a new violent offense within one year of being released slightly increased, the overall percentage of released defendants charged with any new criminal activity decreased from 23% to 21%.
- Legislative bail reforms in New Jersey abolished bail in most cases, causing the number of defendants released pretrial to increase from 94% to 96% and the percentage of released defendants with new criminal activity to increase from 24% to 27%. The additional criminal activity was not considered significant by the authors of the report due to the fact that it still “account[ed] for a very small proportion of all cases filed.”
- In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, defendants charged with specific misdemeanors and low-level felonies did not have to pay bail. Consequently, the percentage of felony defendants released grew from 24% to 32% while the percentage of misdemeanor defendants grew from 83% to 90%. In this jurisdiction, Stemen and Olson found that the percentages of both felony defendants and misdemeanor defendants who were charged with a new criminal offense within four months of the original charge decreased by 2% and 1%, respectively.
Stemen and Olson also provide details about the effect of pretrial bail reform in Cook County specifically. Bail reform efforts were first effective here in 2017 due to a judicial order that established that judges must “consider a defendant’s ability to pay when setting bail amounts” in addition to “creating a presumption of release without bail for all defendants.” As a result of this judicial order, an increased number and percentage of defendants charged with felonies were released prior to their trials. The percentage of people charged with felonies who were released rose from 77% to 81% while the number rose from 8,700 to 9,200 people. The report finds that the percentage of Cook County defendants who are charged with a new offense within a year of their release was measured at 17% both before and after pretrial bail reforms were implemented. Additionally, defendants who are released while awaiting trial have been found to be very unlikely to commit violent crimes, with this group of people accounting for less than 1% of the county’s arrests for violence. In fact, in the year immediately after the bail reform laws went into effect, Cook County experienced a 12% decrease in violent crime.
Stemen and Olson conclude that pretrial bail reform and crime levels are not linked. They note that this statement should not be surprising as bail reform “does not markedly increase the number or percentage of people released pretrial.” Instead, it simply changes the manner in which they are released, as they no longer have to post bail.
Don Stemen and David Olson
A recent report confirms, however inadvertently, that Cook County’s controversial limits on the use of cash bail caused more crime on the streets of Chicago and resulted in fewer defendants showing up in court.
A close look at the analysis from Loyola University’s Don Stemen and David Olson — though the two scholars purport to show the opposite — makes clear that bail-“reform” skeptics were right to worry about how policies like Chicago’s would affect public safety and criminal justice.
The reform in question took effect in 2017, when Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans required that judges not mandate cash bail unless strong reason existed to do so; the move was an effort to reduce the number of offenders held only because they couldn’t afford to get out.
Eighteen months later, Evans released a report claiming that the order had cut the jail population without causing crime to rise. Subsequent research contested this finding, arguing that Evans made key analytic missteps.
The new Loyola report claims to address these concerns, while attempting to reproduce the pro- reform outcomes that Evans sought. Stemen and Olson find that, controlling for various factors, bail changes led to the release of roughly 500 defendants who would otherwise have been detained. They also estimate that, both before and after reform, roughly 17 percent of released offenders committed a new crime, including 3 percent who committed a violent offense.
Every time there's a politically exploitable murder, progressives beat their chests and declare they are the only ones who care about stopping gun violence amongst all the usual postering we are all familiar with. While patting themselves on the back about how much they want to stop senseless violence, they do everything in their power to ensure people, particularly black people, are murdered at alarming rates. The post pandemic rise in murders is well documented and troubling, but the increase in dead bodies is almost all accounted for by urban black victims. The same people who reside in areas with pro-criminal DA’s like the one whose work disgusted the career DA who wrote this letter.
While progressives have been fixated on the shooting carried out by a Mexican white supremacist, much more routine killings like that of 24 year old police officer Areanah Preston in front of her home are ignored. BLM sure doen't care. White yuppies are't cosplaying as protesters and jumping on the subway tracks to protest her death. She's just a black woman killed by black men (and women) Too routine to notice.
One of the murders has three arrests for illegal gun possession, but gun laws don't matter to progressives. Arresting criminals and putting them in jail does do too much damage to the community say the Soros pro crime DAs.
This is the inevitable result. .