Drug Courts

Judge Rejects Drug Court Judge's 1.5 Year Plea Deal, Demands 2 Years Instead

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benefited from drug war till it ensnared him
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Last May, Michael Cook, a drug court judge in St. Clair County, Illinois, was charged with possession of heroin and having a gun while using an illegal controlled substance. He eventually plead guilty in exchange for an 18 month prison sentence. But then, earlier this year, according to KMOV:

A federal judge rejected the deal, saying it wasn't enough hard time for the ex-judge.

Judge Joe Billy McDade said regarding his sentence there are a number of things to consider, including the number of cases Cook presided over as judge of the county drug court. McDade is also looking into the amount of time Cook was using heroin before he sought treatment.

Since his arrest, several of Cook's cases have been thrown out, overturned or have to be retried.

Sentencing was on Friday, and Cook was instead given a "long" 2-year term because, according to Judge McDade, Cook "undermined the rule of law." He will also have to pay for the cost of his confinement and subsequent 3-year supervised release, as well as a $10,000 fine.

The drug court judge initially came under scrutiny by law enforcement officials after another St. Clair County judge, Joe Christ, overdosed on cocaine at Cook's family cabin just a week after being sworn in as judge. And there's more, via KMOV again:

St. Clair County probation worker James Fogarty later told investigators he snorted cocaine with the two judges and repeatedly sold them the drug, including on the eve of the trip to the hunting cabin. Fogarty later pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and unlawful possession of a firearm.

A federal judge later said he won't accept Fogarty's deal to serve five years in prison if testing shows the man's drugs were the ones that killed a Christ. 

"Enhanced" sentences for non-violent drug possession (or sale) that include possession of a firearm are common around the country, even though so long as the drug trade remains within the black market, firearms are needed to prevent fraud, enforce contracts, and support other business practices for which an attorney would suffice in non-criminalized industries.

In fact, Cook's possession charge was a misdemeanor; he admitted to possessing about a gram of heroin when arrested in front of his alleged drug dealer's house. Cook's felony charge was mere possession of a firearm while using heroin. Illinois sentencing guidelines call for up to 15 additional years if a firearm is used while committing a drug or other offense. 

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  1. “A federal judge later said he won’t accept Fogarty’s deal to serve five years in prison if testing shows the man’s drugs were the ones that killed a Christ.”

    If he killed a Christ, there is no punishment too severe!

    1. Would 30 pieces of silver cover the fine?

      1. I don’t want your blood money!

    2. “killed a Christ.”

      So the second coming has been cancelled or postponed then?

  2. A federal judge later said he won’t accept Fogarty’s deal to serve five years in prison if testing shows the man’s drugs were the ones that killed a Christ.

    Anti-Semitism, straight up.

  3. There should be an “enhanced sentence” for drug possession by cops, DAs and judges who preside over drug cases.

  4. Judge Joe Billy McDade

    Is his courtroom in a barn with hay bales and a livestock jury?

    1. Is the prosecution just a simple hyperchicken from ….help me out here? Procyon 8?

      1. “simple country Hyper-Chicken” and no mention of homeplanet.

        +1 failarama.

        1. IIRC, he’s from a “backwoods asteroid”. But no mention of names.

          (I’m sorry. I thought you was corn)

  5. He will also have to pay for the cost of his confinement and subsequent 3-year supervised release, as well as a $10,000 fine.

    Is it typical to charge convicted offenders for the cost of their imprisonment? Because what the fuck.

    1. Sorry, I can’t pay. I guess you’ll have to let me go.

    2. If society wants to lock someone up, then society should pay for it. Requiring people to pay for their convictions makes it easier to pass punitive and petty laws, since those who aren’t affected by them won’t have to pony up. If you’re going to restrict someone’s liberty, even when justified, then you should have to pay for it. It’s a sensible check on over-zealous incarceration.

  6. Illinois sentencing guidelines call for up to 15 additional years if a firearm is used while committing a drug or other offense

    Whatchya wanna bet a dude from the projects gets the full 15 years, while this heroic public servant only gets 1.5?

    1. I’ll bet a dollar.

  7. Karma is a bitch.

  8. Since his arrest, several of Cook’s cases have been thrown out, overturned or have to be retried.

    That might be why they’re so pissed off. In any case, judges in St. Clair County apparently sure know how to have a good time.

  9. It’s a feel-good story, from beginning to end.

  10. Is it typical to charge convicted offenders for the cost of their imprisonment? Because what the fuck.

    I blame big kkkorporate prison. Because they follow the incentives written into the laws which make everything illegal.

  11. This is an excellent example of why I believe the death penalty should be reserved for public officials only. I would have no problem if they strapped this motherfucker down and intravenously pumped him full of kerosene.

    1. I got in a little debate with an ex-fire chief and an ex-postal inspector on why crimes against government workers are considered more heinous. Their tautological answer was, it’s a crime against the state. When I pressed on WHY a policeman’s life is more valued than, say, my wifes, we just went round the block again that the cop works for the government, crime agains the state=more heinous.

      I can only imagine how baffled they would be by your suggestion that only public officials be subject to execution.

  12. “Judge Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo…”

  13. “”Enhanced” sentences for non-violent drug possession (or sale) that include possession of a firearm are common around the country”

    That worked wonders in NYC and the drug neighborhoods.
    Drug dealers can get 3years for a Kilo
    Drug dealers can get 15years for a Kilo and an Unloaded Gun.

  14. Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others. … The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.”
    — William F. Buckley,
    Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

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