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Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Chicago-Kent College of Law joined with the Chicago Council of Lawyers (CCL) and Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice to present two question-and-answer forums with the candidates for Cook County State’s Attorney, Republican candidate Tony Peraica and Democratic candidate Anita Alvarez. The discussions were moderated by IIT Chicago-Kent professor, criminal defense attorney, and CCL president Daniel T. Coyne.

The Cook County State's Attorney's Office, the second largest prosecutor's office in the United States, prosecutes all criminal cases involving misdemeanor and felony crimes committed in Cook County. The office also files legal actions to enforce child support orders, protect consumers and the elderly from exploitation, and assist thousands of victims of domestic violence every year. Both candidates were given an opportunity to present their positions and answer questions.

In addition to taking questions from a panel of experts and the audience, the candidates addressed their positions on issues related to the Cook County Criminal Courts. “A Report on Chicago’s Felony Courts,” a research report on the Cook County Criminal Courts by the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and Chicago Council of Lawyers. With the cooperation of Cook County Criminal Division presiding judge Paul J. Biebel, Jr., State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine, and Public Defender Edwin A. Burnette, researchers conducted a two-year study of system-wide issues affecting the criminal courts. After interviewing more than 150 judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys; conducting surveys; spending hundreds of hours in the courts; and analyzing the literature, a report on problems and possible solutions was released.

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