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Call for special prosecutor in Koschman case

David Koschman’s mother has filed a petition calling for a special prosecutor to investigate her son’s death in a 2004 confrontation with Mayor Daley’s nephew and the possibility of a politically-motivated coverup of the case.

Nanci Koschman will discuss the petition at a press conference at 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 15, at Northwestern School of Law, 375 E. Chicago, 8th floor.  She’ll be joined by Locke Bowman of the MacArthur Justice Center and Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association.

The petition calls for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Daley’s nephew Robert Vanecko is criminally responsible for Koschman’s death, whether false reports were filed in the subsequent investigation, and whether police and prosecutors conspired to obstruct justice in order to protect the mayor’s relative.

State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez cannot conduct an impartial investivation, the complaint argues, because one of her assistants is a possible witness – and the possible subject of an investigation into official misconduct and obstruction of justice.

In addition, Alvarez closed a second investigation of the case which followed reports in the Chicago Sun Times earlier this year, claiming all witnesses agreed that Koschman was the aggressor in the incident. Several witnesses say that is not what they told authorities, the Sun Times has reported.

Alvarez has denied that political considerations played a role in the handling of the case.

“Petitioners believe that had Vanecko not been a member of the powerful Daley family, he would have been charged with the homicide,” according to the court filing.

Constitutional clouds over eavesdropping statute

Things aren’t looking so good for Illinois’ controversial eavesdropping statute.

A downstate Circuit Court judge recently ruled the statute unconstitutional, and in Chicago another Circuit Court judge is considering a similar argument.

Meanwhile two federal cases challenging the constitutionality of the law are wending their way through court.

‘Smart phones and dumb laws’

Lawyers from several of those cases will discuss the law at a forum on Smart Phones and Dumb Laws, Wednesday, November 9 at 6 p.m. at DePaul University Law School, 25 E. Jackson, Room 241.

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An acquital – but not justice – for Tiawanda Moore

Tiawanda Moore’s acquittal Wednesday raises a range of issues:  about the constitutionality of Illinois’ eavesdropping law; about the role of the State’s Attorney and the Chicago Police Department’s internal affairs division in protecting abusive officers; and about media treatment of female victims of sexual crimes, and especially of young African American women.

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        By Stephen Franklin Community Media Workshop   A 3-year-old child died on a plane from Chicago to Poland. This, Magdalena Pantelis instantly knew, was a story her readers would care about. But she needed more detail to write about it for the Polish Daily News, the nation’s oldest daily newspaper in Polish, founded Jan. […]
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