Started By: The Undersigned
Target: Gov. Quinn
Signature Goal: 5000
State prosecutors in Illinois make considerably more money than state defenders. This creates a lopsided justice system that encourages the best lawyers in the public system to apply for positions with the prosecution. When the best lawyers flock to one side, there is little surprise in a high conviction rate.
The state should correct this problem by paying prosecutors and defenders the same salaries. They are, after all, just two sides of the same system. There is no reason that they shouldn’t all receive the same levels of pay. This would help equalized the justice system and allow more lawyers to make choices according to what they want to pursue rather than where they can make a livable income.
We have recently learned that prosecutors working for the state make considerably more money than the state’s defense lawyers. This creates a conflict that, we suspect, encourages the system’s brightest lawyers to accept positions within prosecution so that they can earn a livable income.
By creating a lopsided system, the state must necessarily produce more convictions than it would if the system were equal. Unfortunately, this probably means that some convicts are innocent of their crimes. Their lawyers simply did not have the experience or skill to make an adequate argument in front of the jury.
There is an obvious way to fix this inequality. By setting the same pay grade for defense and prosecuting attorneys, the state can provide a more reliable service to alleged criminals and the population at large. An equal system will allow the best lawyers to make choices based on their interests, not whether they can survive on a defense lawyer’s pay grade.
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