Chicago judge is under fire over controversial acquittals in high profile murder cases

connectVideoIs Chicago judge siding with criminals?

CHICAGO – A Fox News investigation into an alleged soft prosecutors and judges in Chicago highlights at least one judge who may not the help of the city, the notorious violent crime epidemic by seemingly placing a heavy burden on police and justice, and goes easy on suspected criminals.

Cook County Judge Carol Howard is well-known among certain officers of justice is so lenient to criminals that put her in the courtroom, room 203, has earned the slogan of “set em’ free, room 203.”

In one case unfolded in 2011 on Chicago’s south side, where four suspects walked into a supermarket and opened fire. Four people, including one of the suspects, were killed in the massacre.

Some of the crime was caught on video and obtained by Fox News.

A Chicago law enforcement source told Fox News that in addition to the video, there was more than enough physical, biological and firearms evidence to convict the accused.” But still, all three defendants were found not guilty.

In her statement, Howard wrote that the tape is not definitely identify the suspects and no DNA evidence linked the suspects to the crime scene. Law enforcement and legal sources have disputed her statement.

Rod Drobinski, a former Chicago-area prosecutor’s office, told Fox News: “There was gunshot residue… and other aspects of the DNA evidence that were drawn from the crime. When the Judge Howard made her decision, she did it in writing, and most of these aspects were explained in a rather unusual way, or not mentioned at all.”

Cook County Judge Carol Howard is well-known among certain officers of justice is so lenient to criminals that put her in the courtroom, room 203, has earned the slogan of “set em’ free, room 203.”

In a statement to Fox News, Michael Clancy, the attorney who represented one of the defendants, Eric O’neal, wrote that Howard is considered to be a righteous judge, and that each judge would have to decide how they did that in the quadruple murder.

“There is no physical evidence that Eric on the scene. The video showed masked perpetrators who do not even suggest Eric. There is no way Judge Howard or a Judge could find him guilty based on the facts,” Clancy wrote on Fox News.

However, Howard’s questionable judgment in the quadruple murder may not be an outlier.

Several legal and law enforcement sources told Fox News that Howard is known for soft criminals and be put under pressure by the so-called political machine of Chicago.

Police sources pointed to Fox News to another case in which the 2014 shooting of Chicago police officer Thomas Derouin. According to the police, James Garland confessed to firing a shot at the Derouin allegedly beaten and then forcibly entered a house in Garland was in the execution of a search warrant.

Later, Garland admitted that the officer shot was “his fault.” And, gunshot residue was found on Garland. However, Howard found Garland not guilty. In part, Howard explained that the state’s experts gave four people in the house are tested positive for gunshot residue, and could not agree with certainty who fired the gun.


The defense also claimed Garland not receive his Miranda rights, although the police reports indicate Garland was to read them.

In 2017, Howard also acquitted of the charge of a man she previously found guilty of murder and arson charges, after the defendant’s lawyer filed a motion for reconsideration after a bench trial, with the argument of the state’s case was based on circumstantial evidence.

The Cook County State Attorney’s Office responded in part: “We are disturbed by a decision of the court.”

“It is quite clear that Judge Howard has a pro-defense slant,” Drobinski said. “The fact that we defendants are acquitted where there is a volume of evidence against them is over.”


For more than six months, Fox News submitted multiple requests for an interview with Howard – even specifically mentioning the cases of the quadruple murder and the injured officer. Howard never responded.

It is generally known that judges usually do not speak openly about their business. Sources say there are similar judges and the district attorneys in Chicago and the people that are allegedly soft on crime.

The newly-elected district attorney for Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Rachael Rollins, was hailed last September by the former President Obama for her criminal philosophy – which contains a list of crimes she is planning not to prosecute, including drug possession with intent to distribute.

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