Illinois Judge From Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity . . . And May Now Return To The Bench

We previously discussed the bizarre case of Cook County Judge Cynthia Brim, a judge in Markham, Illinois who has been barred from entering the courthouse without police escort and has a prior arrest for assault. Despite long opposition from bar groups and her claiming insanity as a defense to the charge, Cook County voters returned her to the bench in a recent election. Now, Brim has been cleared of the criminal charge by reason of insanity and can now be cleared to resume judging other people in Cook County . . . thanks to voters who clearly reelected her on a basis other than competence, record, or sanity.

The Democratic party supported Brim’s reelection despite that fact that the bar association has been trying since 2000 to remove her from the bench. In 2000, 2006 and 2012, bar associations have found her not qualified. Pending her being cleared by the courts to return to the bench, she will continue to collect $182,000 in annual salary. By the way, she was reelected by 63.5 percent of the vote.

In one past incident, Brim, 54, simply froze in the middle of addressing a courtroom and had to be carried off the bench by paramedics. She has been diagnosed with a bipolar type of schizoaffective disorder which cause delusions and hallucinations.

On March 8th, Brim had to leave the courthouse following a tirade where she was raving in a courtroom. The next day, she was upset about a story in the newspaper and decided to do a single persons “march for justice” after taking the wrong bus to go downtown to complain. She walked 5 miles to her attorney’s office but went to the wrong law firm . . . then refused to leave. That attorney later filed another complaint against Brim.

She then went to the Daley Center and caused a scene — throwing her keys on the ground in protest of her treatment. A deputy noticed that the keys were security keys that civilians are not supposed to have and asked her to stop to answer questions. She refused and went down Randolph street. The deputy stepped in front of her and she shoved him. She was then arrested.

Brim is scheduled to return in March to the bench.

The case again raises the question of the wisdom of elected judges rather than appointed judges. Clearly the voters did not care that she has demonstrated incompetence both professional and personally to sit on the bench. She was reelected at the same time and by the same margin as Jesse Jackson Jr. after he disappeared from Congress. The difference is that Brim hands down judgment on other citizens as a judge. Her case speak loudly to the need to move away from elected judge positions in Illinois and other states.

Source: Chicago Tribune

36 thoughts on “Illinois Judge From Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity . . . And May Now Return To The Bench

  1. Try the Missouri Non Partisan Plan. A committee in a county is selected and they nominate three names, the Governor picks one. This is only in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Kansas City, and I think Springfield. The rest of the state is still partisan elections. It also applies to appellate and supreme court judges. Some dogs have their reservations about it. We still ended up with a Missouri Supreme Court which is UnReconstructed. That is, they wont recognize federal jurisprudence and U.S. Supreme Court cases on the issue of whether a criminal defendant received a fair trial– that the circumstantial evidence rule be applied in trial and on appeal. They also will not let a defendant put on a defense that a third person was the killer. These judges went to college and law school and somewhat speak the King’s English. But, they are not as bad as that thing ya go up their in ChiTown.

  2. I went to court in Johnson County, Illinois back in the ’70s and this judge was standing up on the bench in full robes with a Bible. He was preaching to a defendant standing down there before him as he sentenced him to jail for 30 days for dui. I commented to a court clerk who blew it off and said that the people elected him. That was in a prior incarnation before my present role as a dog. I was a good human and never got sentenced and so when my time came up there in Saint Peters Pearly Gates, I was given the choice to come back as a dog. Some guy named Barry was up there and he said that it was a choice and not an echo.

  3. And some people have the noive to say: “would you prefer the legal system in China or Roosia to the one we have here in the land of the free?”.

  4. What did you expect in Chicago? They elected Daley time after time.
    Illinois voters also elected Jessie Jackson Jr even though he didn’t campaign, was in a mental hospital, and was awaiting prosecution…fortunately he decided to step down…so now Illinois can not only be the butt of corruption jokes, but the can come out with “stupid voter” jokes to put the icing on the cake!

  5. Doesn’t Illinois lead the nation in convicted politicians? As in ex-governor Ryan who was just released from jail.

  6. I haven’t fully thought out my position on whether or not judges should be elected or appointed so I will comment some time in the future on that. But I will say that if judges are to be elected, the process for removal from office due to legitimate cause needs to be less arduous and delayed. That might be a good balance for now.

  7. “DonS1, February 5, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Party over, well, just about everything it seems.”

    Remember the feeling when the room lights came back on and the spell disappeared in a drinkle of your eye.

    Drinkle? The twinkle replaced by drunkeness.

  8. I’m surprised I’m the only one here who cast a ballot in Cook County. I guess I’m only slightly less lazy that my fellow citizens in that I print out the Independent Voters of Illinois/Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) endorsements. (This is the anti-machine “Lakefront Liberal” and “Hyde Park Leftie” political organization in Chicago.) They did not endorse Judge Brim for retention. Sadly, it looks like she didn’t respond to their questionnaire that they use for reviewing candidates. Her responses might have been… um, interesting.

    Also, it seems like some comment moderation is called for.

  9. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me dinner due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this matter here on your internet site.

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