Friday, November 11, 2011

Preckwinkle withdraws her plea on jury parking

Posted By on 11.11.11 at 02:11 PM

Headline on the blog of Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle: “Preckwinkle, Fritchey Announce Solution to Eliminate Parking Fees for Jurors and Law Enforcement.”

Preckwinkle and commissioner John Fritchey have solved a problem Preckwinkle created. Last month she proposed charging all visitors to the county’s courthouses—including jurors, police officers, and witnesses—$4.75 a day to park. Jurors are paid $17.20 a day for their service, a rate that hasn’t increased in years.

The proposal met resistance from the board, and now Preckwinkle says jurors and police officers can continue to park for free; the county will raise the money they would have raised by cutting printing, transportation, and training costs. “Jurors play a critical role in the administration of public safety in our communities,” Preckwinkle said.

"The administration of public safety" is not the role of jurors. That sounds like a prosecutor talking—an inferior one. Preckwinkle could have said, "In criminal cases, jurors play a critical role in safeguarding a defendant’s constitutional rights"—or, simply, that they play the important role of determining innocence or guilt.

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