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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66550 Find in a Library
Title: CHICAGO'S CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD OF THE '80'S AND '90'S
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Dated:(MARCH/APRIL 1935)  Pages:928-940
Author(s): J LANDESCO
Corporate Author: Williams and Wilkins Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1935
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Williams and Wilkins Co
Baltimore, MD 21202
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHICAGO POLITICS AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY IS ILLUSTRATED BY A CASE HISTORY OF A NOTORIOUS PICKPOCKET WHO WAS CONVICTED ONLY AFTER HIS POLITICAL FACTION LOST POWER.
Abstract: A RISING POLITICIAN IN THE CITY MACHINE OFTEN USES THE TECHNIQUE OF EXPOSING A RIVAL FACTION'S COOPERATION WITH CRIMINALS TO CAPTURE ADDITIONAL PUBLIC OFFICES. THUS, A KNOWN CRIMINAL MAY SUDDENLY BE PROSECUTED AND EITHER RECEIVES IMMUNITY FOR HIS HELP OR IMPRISONMENT AS PUNISHMENT FOR LOYALTY TO ANOTHER GROUP. THIS IS DEMONSTRATED IN THE ACCOUNT OF EDDIE JACKSON, AN ADHERENT OF THE SULLIVAN DEMOCRATS, WHO WAS CONVICTED IN 1918 BECAUSE THE PROSECUTION WAS CONDUCTED BY THE RIVAL HARRISON FACTION AND PRESSURES FROM THE PRESS WERE GREAT. BECAUSE THIS GROUP WANTED TO DISCREDIT THE CHIEF OF DETECTIVES, IT INDICTED JACKSON ON PICKPOCKETING CHARGES THAT HAD BEEN STRICKEN BY THE PREVIOUS STATE'S ATTORNEY. JACKSON WAS SENT TO PRISON AND NOT PARDONED UNTIL HIS POLITICAL MENTORS CONTROLLED THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE 4 YEARS LATER. IN 1924, JACKSON WAS AGAIN FRAMED ON PICKPOCKET CHARGES BECAUSE HE HAD HELPED THE ENEMY FACTION ON ELECTION DAY. ALTHOUGH HE WAS ABLE TO USE POLITICAL CONNECTIONS TO HAVE THE TRIAL DELAYED AND CONVICTION APPEALED, JACKSON ULTIMATELY WENT TO PRISON FOR ANOTHER 4 YEARS. THIS STUDY ILLUSTRATES HOW ALL ELEMENTS OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM WERE TOOLS OF POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS. IN RETURN FOR ORGANIZING VOTERS IN ELECTIONS, THE CRIMINAL WAS IMMUNE TO PUNISHMENT FOR PICKING POCKETS. WHEN A RIVAL FACTION SUCCEEDED IN OFFICE, THE PICKPOCKET WAS A VULNERABLE TARGET IN THE POWER STRUGGLE. THE APPENDIX DESCRIBES HOW A CITIZEN DOGGEDLY PURSUED THE CASE OF A KNOWN PICKPOCKET UNTIL THE CRIMINAL WAS CONVICTED DESPITE POLITICAL PRESSURES. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Corruption of public officials; Illinois; Local government; Organized crime; Police corruption; Political influences
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66550

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