People v. Gacho, 2016 IL App (1st) 133492 (April). Episode 181 (Duration 4:34)
Postconviction petition alleging corrupt trial judge is dismissed.
Corrupt Trial Judge
No joke. The trial judge conducting this murder trial actually was convicted of accepting bribes. See this article.
The fact that the judge was bribed in some cases does not establish that he was not impartial in others. The judge's pattern of bribe taking cannot alone support an inference that he engaged in compensatory bias in the defendant's case. A defendant must still “who alleges that his trial judge's corruption violated his right to a fair trial must establish (1) a ‘nexus' between the judge's corruption or criminal conduct in other cases and the judge's conduct at [the defendant's] trial; and (2) actual bias resulting from the judge's extrajudicial conduct.” See the dissent for a strong counter argument.
Facts In This Case
However, defendant's case was not a “fixed” case. The gist of the claim was that a codefendant paid the judge $10,000 for a not guilty in his case.
That meant the judge could not be fair in defendant's case.
Also, defendant said he could not raise $60,000 to pay the judge and because of that the judge could not have been fair.
In sustaining the dismissal of this postconviction petition, the reviewing court found that defendant failed to produce any direct evidence that the judge was, in fact, bribed by the codefendant. The trial attorney denied that he ever talked to defendant or his family about a $60,000 bribe & defendant's story about the codefendant saying he paid $10,000 but got convicted anyway also does not add up.
If the judge possessed a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the defendant's trial, the defendant would be entitled to relief under the Act in the form of a new trial. Defendant did not prove this up sufficiently.