Monday, April 13, 2009

Arrest does not equal guilt

An off-duty Chicago police officer was arrested yesterday after he was alleged to have caused a fiery crash while driving drunk on Illinois roads. After a hearing, Judge Panarese set bond for officer Frugoli at $500,000. Fights broke out and the crowd got more than a bit unruly, upset that Frugoli was "a free man". Apparently, not only did they forget that Mr. Frugoli is innocent until he either enters a plea of guilty or is proven to be guilty, they also grossly misunderstand the purpose of bond.
Bond is meant to ensure the appearance, cooperation and compliance of a defendant facing criminal charges in Illinois courts. That's pretty much it. Failing to show up in Chicago's criminal court at 26th and California, committing another crime or refusing to comply with the lawful orders of a judge will result in the loss of the entire bond amount. A Chicago cop with no other criminal history? $50,000 of his hard earned cash ought to do that job just fine.

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