Glasgow looks at record of community service
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org October 29, 2012 11:08PM
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow after the last day of testimony in the Drew Peterson trial outside of the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, IL on Thursday August 30, 2012. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
James W. Glasgow
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Occupation: Will County state’s attorney
Marital Status: Married, five children
Civic Involvement: Will County Children’s Advocacy Center Board of Directors, chairman; Illinois State’s Attorney’s Association, member; Joliet City Center Partnership, board member.
Prior Elective Office: Will County state’s attorney, 1992-2000; 2004-present
Please list jobs or contracts you, members of your immediate family or business partners have had with government.
No immediate family members or business partners currently have a position in government. In the past, my wife has held either secretarial or administrative positions with the circuit clerk, Plainfield schools, coroner’s office and recorder’s office. My father-in-law has served as operations manager for the Will County state’s attorney’s office.
Name your five biggest campaign contributors and the amount they contributed.
Jan. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2012: Shannon Law Group, $2,500; Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, $2,500; John Partelow, $2,500; AFSCME Local 31, $2,000; D Construction, $1,500.
What is your estimated campaign budget?
$50,000-$60,000 estimated expenditures for 2012
Please describe your educational background.
Joliet Catholic High School, 1968; University of Illinois, 1972; Northern Illinois University School of Law, 1981.
What legislation will you push for in Springfield over the next four years?
A law that enables law enforcement to seize assets used by those who create, download and disseminate child pornography. Funding could be directed to expand High Technology Crimes Units like the one I formed this year in the Will County state’s attorney’s office as well as computer crimes labs where computers are analyzed and evidence is gathered. Funding also could be used to expand Children’s Advocacy Center.
A law that eliminates the marital privilege when a husband murders a wife to prevent her from testifying at a legal proceeding or trial. This legislation stems from the successful Drew Peterson prosecution during which statements made by Stacy Peterson were allowed under the “Forfeiture by Wrongdoing” hearsay exception, but were excluded instead at trial because they fell under the marital privilege. The purpose of the marital privilege is to preserve the marriage. The privilege applied in such cases prevents prosecutors from bringing murderers to justice and should be modified.
Will you use hearsay evidence in prosecutions as now permitted under the so-called “Drew’s Law?”
“Drew’s Law” is a name the media coined for a legal doctrine — “Forfeiture by Wrongdoing” — that has been applied under the common law for hundreds of years in the United States. The Illinois statute I drafted was superseded by the rules of evidence adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court following its ruling in People vs. Hanson out of DuPage County. Under the doctrine of Forfeiture by Wrongdoing, anyone who kills a witness to prevent him or her from testifying at a trial forfeits his right to confront that witness. This doctrine levels the playing field and has allowed prosecutors to bring mobsters and gang bangers to trial if they can prove statements made by the missing witness were relevant and probative. In the Peterson case, my trial team used this principle effectively to secure a guilty verdict against a man who murdered his wife. There are sufficient checks and balances to prevent abuse. I will seek to use this law when it is appropriate.
Are too many people prosecuted for low-level drug crimes?
State’s attorneys are obligated to aggressively prosecute anyone who deals illegal narcotics. My office takes a highly aggressive approach to drug dealers because of the harm they cause society. However, I also spearheaded the creation of the Will County Drug Court to provide addicts — not dealers — who have committed non-violent offenses with the supervision, treatment and counseling they need to clean up their lives and return to their communities as productive citizens. Drug Court has helped 300 people kick their addictions and has saved taxpayers millions compared to the cost of cycling these offenders through the prison system and returning them to the streets to commit more crimes.
Should the Will County state’s attorney’s office do more to combat heroin overdoses in Will County?
We have worked closely with police agencies to prosecute those who deal this deadly poison in Will County. My office has secured convictions against 146 heroin dealers over the past six years. Furthermore in October, I attended a law enforcement summit with police and prosecutors from Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties to develop a regional attack plan that cracks down hard on dealers. In addition, I have been leading the fight with the HERO/HELPS organizations to warn parents, educators and teens about the deadly dangers of using heroin. As part of that commitment, we are launching an educational curriculum in Joliet Township High Schools health classes to educate our students. Our goal is to put the dealers behind bars while simultaneously eliminating the market for this narcotic, thereby reducing the number of overdose deaths.
Do you think it is proper for a prosecutor to overcharge a case to facilitate a prompt disposition?
We do not overcharge cases. A prosecutor should file charges based solely on evidence that will enable him to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Research has indicated that false confessions and mistaken witness identifications are a leading source of cases in which innocent people are prosecuted. What will you do to address these issues?
I address these issues by performing my duties in good faith, by keeping an open mind during investigations and by constantly reviewing and questioning the evidence that is presented to my prosecutors. There have been investigations that have involved false accusations and mistaken identifications here in Will County. When confronted by these situations, I have always done the right thing and dismissed the charges without hesitation. I will continue to perform my duties ethically in the future.
Updated: December 1, 2012 6:10AM
Jim Glasgow believes he has established a legacy in Will County.
Exhibit A: The recording courthouse visitors hear as they walk in that details the items prohibited from the building was written by Glasgow in response to gang violence in and around the building.
“That is still being read, here we are 20 years later,” Glasgow said. “Things like that are going to outlive me.”
Glasgow, 61, of Joliet, is a married father of five who has served as Will County state’s attorney for four terms — from 1992 to 2000 and from 2004 to the present.
“When you look at the passionate way I’ve done it for 16 years, it’s pretty obvious I love this job,” Glasgow said.
He believes it is important to push for stiffer penalties and updated laws when necessary.
Glasgow said he was able to get enhanced penalties enacted for the offense of animal torture and worked with state Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) to write a bill that banned 400 varieties of synthetic marijuana. He would like to see a law that allows police to seize assets from child pornographers.
Some of the programs Glasgow is most proud of were designed to help people get back on their feet.
The county’s drug court was first established in the spring of 2000. He wrote a grant to establish the court, which provides drug offenders with treatment and follow-up with the court.
Since it started, more than 100 people have graduated from the drug court program, according to Glasgow’s office.
In 2008, Glasgow used funds seized in money-laundering cases to buy a 20-seat bus for the Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County to use to drive Joliet veterans to Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital for appointments.
“That’s thinking outside the box,” Glasgow said. “I’m always looking for ways to use the power and authority of this office to help the community.”
In 1995, Glasgow established the Children’s Advocacy Center as a way to improve the rate of convictions in child abuse cases.
Young victims are interviewed there in a child-friendly environment where their statements are recorded and have been used to prosecute their abusers.
Glasgow created the county’s first domestic violence court, which required abuser counseling to break the destructive cycle of violence. He also wrote a domestic violence protocol for police investigating the crimes.
Recently, Glasgow said, he received a grant to establish a program with Joliet Junior College that will help battered women receive an education.
“I’m fiercely proud of my home, and I want to make sure it’s the safest county in the state of Illinois — and the only way to do that is if I’m state’s attorney,” Glasgow said.